Keep the kids busy in the kitchen over the holidays by baking a batch of these easy Christmas biscuits. Cut out a range of festive shapes from the spiced orange dough and get creative decorating with pretty coloured icing.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.
- Add the flour, orange zest, mixed spice, sugar and butter to a large bowl. Rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and mix to a stiff dough. Bring together with your hands into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 20 mins.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick. Cut out a mixture of shapes, such as stars, Christmas trees, snowmen or snowflakes with cutters. Bring any leftover dough together again, roll out and cut out further shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and chill for 10 mins until firm.
- Bake for 10-12 mins (check after 8 mins if your shapes are small) or until pale golden. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely. The biscuits can be eaten plain, dusted with icing sugar, or try some of these colourful decorating ideas below.
- For the icing, place half the icing sugar in a bowl, add 3 tbsp water and mix until it forms a thick paste. Place the remaining icing sugar in another bowl, add 3 tbsp water and the red gel food colouring and mix together to make a bold red colour.
- Put the red icing in a piping bag with a small plain nozzle (or spoon into a sandwich bag and snip the corner off to make a small hole). Pipe lines around some of the cooled biscuits to make borders or snowflake patterns. Leave to set briefly. To flood the middles, add a spoonful of the white icing inside the borders and allow the icing to spread to the edges. Decorate with silver and gold balls and stars, as you like.[Video:How to fill a piping bag,Text:How to fill a piping bag]
- Roll out some green and red fondant icing on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to 5mm thickness. Cut out shapes and use to decorate the remaining biscuits. Secure the fondant icing with a little runny white icing. Leave to set completely before serving. The finished biscuits will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.
Tip: Get ahead by freezing your biscuit dough. Make the dough, roll into a flat disc, wrap in clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before using.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines (dough only)
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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