The Little Girl finishes school for Christmas today, so yesterday she and I made some presents for her teacher and the teaching assistants. I made some vanilla spice cookies, and some lemony icing, then covered the Little Girl in aprons and unleashed the creative whirlwind. There is no creative force to rival a four year old who’s been supplied with glitter, icing, smarties, jelly tots and the contents of Mummy’s cake decorating box. The glitter was applied by me, under close supervision and direction, but otherwise, these were her own artistic creation. Every sweet applied with total deliberation.
Here’s the recipe for the biscuits, by the way:
Vanilla Spice Biscuits
175g butter, softened.
200g caster sugar.
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour (this recipe works very well with gluten free flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch of allspice
For the icing:
250g icing sugar, sieved
Juice of 1 lemon
Food colouring and sprinkles as wished
Cream sugar and butter til pale. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder, and then add them to the butter and eggs, mix gently. Halve the dough, form into discs or balls and wrap in clingfilm to rest in fridge for 1 hr. Roll the dough on a floured surface to half a cm thick, then cut shapes, and place on baking sheets – I flour my sheets as these do have a tendency to stick. Bake for 8-12 mins at 180C, until golden brown.
For the icing, mix the lemon juice with the sugar until you have a thick paste. Add a bit of water if you need to. Colour as desired and then go mad.