These simple biscuits can be made in half an hour and would be a great project to do with kids. We decided to experiment with edible flower decoration. They flowers need to be picked fresh and all of these are all easy to grow plants from my own roof terrace. The flowers give a great extra flavour as well as looking fantastic, I especially enjoyed the violas.
Try chamomile, pansies, roses, marigolds, sunflowers, sweet Williams, borage, daises, lavender and violas.
- 1 ¼ sticks soft unsalted butter
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour – preferably italian 00 (plus more if needed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4/350ºF.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Halve the dough, form into fat discs, wrap each half in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place a disc of dough on it (not taking out the other half until you’ve finished with the first) and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about ½ cm / ¼ inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the biscuits a little apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 8–12 minutes, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a rack and continue with the rest of the dough. When they’re all fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a couple of tablespoons of just-not-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved confectioners’ sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Colour as desired: let the artistic spirit within you speak, remembering with gratitude that children have very bad taste.