Makes about 40 medium sized biscuits
My neighbour (Lisbeth) at uni residential college shared this biscuit recipe with me. It's from the days when we were all so excited to have REAL food from home, rather than the deep-fried swill from the college kitchen.
I have used the biscuit base from her grandmother's recipe, the wonderfully named "Mama's Kiss Biscuits", converted it from imperial to metric measurements and added Christmas cutters and decorations.
- 225g butter
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 free range eggs (59g)
Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Using a stand mixer (have I already mentioned that my red Kitchen Aid mixer is my favourite appliance?!), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and sift in the flour, bicarb soda and cream of tartar. Mix until a smooth dough has formed. You may have to scrape the beater down half way through mixing. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.Now for the fun part, summon the children! Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut out biscuits using Christmas shaped cutters and place on prepared baking trays. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool.Call the wandering children back and let them do their thing with writing icings, smarties and/or lollies!
- It is best to work quickly once the pastry is out of the fridge - this is difficult when you have small helpers! I found that giving each child some pastry to work with does the trick.
- Nearly every cooking-related shop will have Christmas cutters for sale well before the official Christmas period starts. Out cutter collection includes the ever popular large Santa and a star. Hmm, must get a tree shape this year…
- If you only have scone cutters or egg rings in the cupboard, these will do nicely to make various size circles that you can decorate like Christmas tree balls.
- Christmas tree idea: try carefully using the blunt end of a wooden skewer to make a hole in the biscuit before baking. After decorations have set, thread some string/cotton/tinsel through the hole and hang on the tree.