Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stained Glass Window biscuits

I had a go at these for Leo's party too. Leigh tried them last year, but something went a bit wrong somewhere and they didn't end up as they should have at all! I used a recipe I found on the BBC website from Annabel Karmel - ginger biscuits with the little windows of melted boiled sweets. The first batch...

look great. The windows came out really well, although I was slightly concerned that they might have been a bit pale and undercooked. And I forgot to add the sugar. Biscuits came out more like slightly stodgy cake and did not taste good. I was very disappointed, particularly as Zachary had been really helpful and done a huge amount to help make them. But first batch binned, I had another go...

These don't look as pretty and the window parts did not come out as well as the previous biscuits - I think I must have used too much sweets for the thickness of the dough. But the biscuits themselves are much better - nice and crunchy and tasty, if possibly slightly overdone! Must try another time soon to get it right!!!

350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
100g/3½oz butter
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg, beaten
4 tbsp golden syrup
packet wrapped fruit-flavoured boiled sweets in different colours

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. For the biscuits, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ginger together in a bowl.

3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar.

4. In another bowl, beat together the egg and golden syrup, then pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix to make a smooth dough, kneading lightly with your hands.

5. Crush the sweets in their wrappers using a rolling pin.

6. Roll the dough out on a floured work surface to about 0.5cm/¼in thick, then cut into shapes using a selection of Christmas-themed cookie cutters. Transfer the biscuits to baking sheets lined with baking paper.

7. Cut out shapes in the centre of each biscuit, making sure you leave a good edge all around the biscuit. Completely fill the hole in each biscuit with crushed boiled sweets.

8. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown.

9. Remove the biscuits from the oven. Do not remove the biscuits from the baking tray until they have cooled because the boiled sweets need to harden. Once the sweets have hardened, gently lift the biscuits onto a wire rack with a palette knife to finish cooling.

10. If you like, you can decorate the biscuits with piped white icing, thread ribbons through the holes in the biscuits to make loops for hanging from a Christmas tree.

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