The easiest way to get kids involved with making biscuits is cutting out shapes from cookie dough. It’s a quick process to make the mixture but a real delight to have fun with shapes and of course eat the end product.
This time of year means that by having a batch of Christmas biscuits on hand, you are always prepared if visitors drop in.
I can remember many hours in the kitchen baking biscuits with my Nanna. The goal once the dough was rolled out on the bench was to use up every scrap of dough and make the most amount of different cookies as possible. Of course the fun was in eating the uncooked dough – just to make sure that it was right before it went into the oven. Waiting for the baked biscuits to cool was hard for such an impatient cook but to quality control them again once cooked and still warm was heaven.
Nanna would always say that they would be no good if they tasted terrible raw, or no good if they didn’t taste delicious once they were cooked. The challenge was always there.
I just loved the decorating part. Icing, chocolate and sprinkles would end up everywhere – but who cared when they looked amazing and tasted so good. Snowmen, angels, stars, Christmas trees and baubles all got a thorough coating with icing or a dip in melted chocolate to start the transformation.
It’s been a delight to watch my granddaughter Tilly enjoy the same process too. She is well and truly on the way to becoming a great cook now – common sense being a key prerequisite in this process.
She has been doing an amazing job.
Let me share with you the recipe that we used:
BASIC BISCUIT DOUGH FOR COOKIE CUTTERS
- 125g butter left at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 cup sifted plain flour
- 1 cup sifted self-raising flour
- 1 egg
- splash of milk
- dash of vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Beat the butter and sugar until you get a soft creamy mixture.
- Add the salt, vanilla essence and egg and mix.
- Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, and mix with each addition.
- Add splash of milk if needed and mix. Mixture must be dry to touch.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench top. Knead the dough until it is well mixed. Roll it out until about 5mm thick.
- Cut using a cookie cutter shape. Keep remoulding and rolling out until all the dough has been used up. You may need to re-flour the bench from time to time to stop the dough sticking.
- Put onto flat trays and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and when they are golden brown take them out to cool.
- Change the flavour by adding 2tsps of cinnamon or ginger or mixed spice to the mixture as you are making it.
- Decorate with sprinkles, nuts, sugar (coffee flavoured sugar is nice), hundreds and thousands or dip in melted chocolate, or icing and finish off with creative flair.
Makes about 20 – 25 biscuits.