My mother has long had the habit of buying me random things at Christmas - I've told her about this, so I feel it's ok to write about on the blog. One year I received juggling batons, another I received a plastic credit card holder (though I had nowhere to hang it and was too young for credit cards), and another year I received the flowery doilies that you see in the background of the image above. I am always eternally grateful for the gifts that I receive, because I know that some people are not lucky enough to have the luxury of calling a gift 'random', but I never know quite what to do with these.
Unlike the juggling batons and credit card holder, the doilies have somehow stayed with me through at least two moves, and were hidden in my wardrobe until a couple of weeks ago when I was doing some spring cleaning. Now that I have Cake Of The Week, and have learned how a bit of creativity with photography can go a long way, there may finally be a use for them. And so, now you have read the story of the flowery doilies in the background of today's photographs. You're welcome.
As long-time readers may recall, I have been stuck with just two cookie cutters for a while. I often gaze at cookie cutters on display, but they never seem good enough to expand my collection (to friends and family who are reading this: yes, that is a hint). 3.5 years into this blog, however, and I still only possess a heart cutter and a dinosaur cutter. Both, I'm sure you will agree, have limited value. I felt that the hearts would hold the icing better, and I wasn't really in a mood to fiddle with the dinosaur cutter and worry about making legless dinosaurs.
The icing was the sole reason that I made these biscuits, to be honest. While the frosting recipe I often use (based on a Sweetapolita recipe) has never failed me before, this time I just could not get it to set. I tried to help it set by adding copious amounts of icing sugar, but the frosting was still way too sloppy for my liking, and there was now twice as much because of the volume from the added sugar. I did my best with the cupcakes that the frosting was intended for, and then decided to jazz up the remainder with some raspberries and sandwich it between some vanilla biscuits. The result was actually pretty good, and rather attractive to boot. Because it's unlikely you'll replicate my frosting disaster, I've given a buttercream recipe that will be guaranteed give the same results, but with much less strife.
- 200g Plain Flour
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 80g Butter
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Medium Egg
- 50g Butter
- 150g Icing Sugar
- 60g Raspberries
- Put the flour. caster sugar and butter in a bowl and rub together with the fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, and all of the flour is incorporated.
- Add the vanilla extract and egg, stirring until the mixture forms a dough.
- Flour a clean worktop and roll out the dough to about 1cm (approx 1/4 inch) thickness.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out pieces of dough, placing them on a baking tray that is lined with baking parchment. The biscuits won't spread, so they can be placed fairly close together.
- Ball up and roll out the remaining dough, repeating the cutting process until the maximum amount of dough has been used.
- Cover the dough pieces with cling film and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.
- Remove the cling film from the dough pieces, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes until they are starting to turn golden brown.
- Use a spatula to remove the biscuits from the baking tray, placing them on a wire rack to cool.
- Using a fork or electric whisk, mix the icing sugar and butter together until smooth and well combined.
- Add the raspberries, stirring/mashing until well combined.
- Spread a spoonful of icing onto half of the biscuits, then sandwich it with the other half of the biscuits.