My girls both love our local library. They get very excited. The eldest chooses her books very quickly. The youngest can never make a decision. In the end, the only way she that will reluctantly make a decision is if you tell her (for the fifth time) that you (really) are leaving in five seconds. Anyway, the eldest chose The Usborne Little Book of Christmas Cooking (the youngest chose a story about Christmas Unicorns, eventually). This book is really lovely. It is full of biscuit and cake recipes with a Christmas theme. Each step of the recipe is illustrated with a drawing to help children understand each stage.
On our first read-through both girls were taken with the Painted Biscuits recipe. They each wanted to make them for everyone in their class. That is sixty biscuits, yes, sixty biscuits. All of which need stamping out, and all of which need painting.
Actually, it wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. The girls helped stamp out half the dough and then (even more helpfully) painted those whilst I stamped out the rest. We got a bit of a production line going.
This recipe makes enough to make 60 small biscuits. It can easily be halved if you don’t have two classes of children to feed.
150g softened butter
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 egg white
clean new paintbrushes
Preheat the oven to 180°c, gas mark 4.
Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix until it comes together in a ball of dough. Place in the fridge to chill for twenty minutes.
To make the paint, lightly whisk the egg white and divide between as many cups as you want colours. Add a few drops of your chosen food colour to each cup.
Grease baking trays with butter ( I needed four to make 60 biscuits, but you could do this is rotation, cooking one batch at a time).
Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Stamp out shapes and place them onto the greased tray. Paint away to your heart’s content with the coloured egg white.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes until lightly golden.
Use a palette knife to place them onto a wire rack to cool.