Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Butter cut-out biscuits

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe

175g soft unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

400g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

300g icing sugar, sieved and food colouring

biscuit cutters

2 baking sheets, greased or lined

pre-heat oven to 180c

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and moving towards mousiness, 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 half an hour (and you can leave it in there for a couple of days if it helps). 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 half cm. 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 Min's, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a wire 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 icing sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Colour as desired. (I actually make a slightly thinner mix and use a paint brush to paint the icing onto the biscuits)

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