My go to biscuit is from my plain sweet Kiss Biscuit recipe. This week I watched Martha bake brown sugar cookies, which are basically Kiss Biscuits with half the caster sugar replaced with brown sugar. It makes a very good biscuit, which is still light but has a nice flavour. Then I made a simple Royal Icing and did a little decorating. I am not a very skilled decorator, but I managed to make some quite presentable biscuits.
I didn't use any special equipment, just a whisk for the icing and a few ziplock bags for the piping. I even coloured some raw sugar and used it to decorate the iced biscuits. I found out that you really should ice and then straight away dredge with sugar. If you leave the Royal Icing too long it dries. Which is good for icing, but bad for dredging with sugar!!
If you are too impatient to bake, then use Milk Arrowroot biscuits instead. They are perfect as they are egg shaped and if you use the 'wrong' side, they are flat.
- one egg-white
- about 2 cups of pure icing sugar, sifted
- a little lemon juice
- raw or ordinary sugar
- food colouring, gel is best
I baked some Kiss Biscuits, using this recipe. 225g is pretty much 1 cup, so I used 1/2 cup of caster sugar and 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar and went ahead as usual with the baking. I cooled the biscuits on a rack.
Put the egg-white into a very clean glass or metal bowl. Beat with a whisk, or fork, for a few seconds until lots of bubbles appear. Add the lemon juice and then the sifted icing sugar a little at a time. Whisk between additions.
The Royal Icing should be about as thick as soft serve ice cream, Mr Whippy to those who remember. This is the icing for piping outlines, or dams, on the biscuits. I spoon some of this into a ziplock bag and cover the rest with clingfilm.
I cut a tiny corner off the bag and use it to pipe. I start squeezing and let the line of icing drop onto the biscuit, and it curves nicely down and settles. I don't have the joining the ends part right yet.
To fill or flood, the biscuits, I add a little extra water or lemon juice to the rest of the icing. It should be runny enough to spread all by itself. Mine was not, but hey, I carried on regardless. You basically pipe wildly inside the line you piped, and then the icing should just flow to the edges all by itself. I encouraged mine with the end of a skewer!!! It should be nice and flat, but mine are very hill and peaky.
You can also pipe patterns, stripes, or swirls or dots, or just an outline on the biscuits.
You can leave the biscuits to dry, or make some coloured sugar to decorate further. I added some gel colouring, which I bought at the supermarket, a little at a time to some raw sugar in a ziplock bag. I sqidged it all together until the sugar was the colour I liked. The you can press the biscuit into the sugar, or drizzle the sugar over the biscuit. And again, leave it to dry and set.
Royal Icing is a very simple and easy way to make some plain biscuits look more special. You don't need any fancy ingredients or equipment, and if you are impatient like me, you don't have to wait ages for things to set or dry before you do another process. It's also a very child friendly activity!!!