|Middle Daughter's first attempt at icing writing|
Ever since my Middle Daughter was given these heart shaped cookie cutters as an inspired Christmas present, she has been making this recipe – for birthdays, for gifts and for selling at our monthly local market. The great thing is that the basic cookie dough tastes great, so the biscuits don’t need to be smothered in icing, just a few strategic drizzles or dots and some fancy sprinkles and they are already tasty works of art.
She has varied the shapes over the last few markets. The gingerbread man shapes went down a storm at our last market, yesterday. There were boys in trousers and girls in glitter bikinis. Other times we have had hearts with writing on.
|The girls at their market stall in June|
Anyway here is the recipe, which originally came from Nigella Lawson’s Feast: Food to Celebrate Life, a book well worth investing in.
Heart Biscuits Recipe
90g / 3oz soft butter
100g / 3 1/2 oz caster sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
200g / 7oz plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the dry ingredients. Fold them into the butter mixture gradually until you have a soft dough that holds together well. If it still feels too sticky to roll, you can add a little more flour, but don’t overdo it or it will make the biscuits too dry. If you have time, rest the dough in the fridge for an hour covered in clingfilm. Otherwise get straight on to rolling out the dough.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2 cm / 1/4 inch thickness. Use whatever shaped cookie cutters you like to cut out shapes.
Put bigger ones together on one greased baking tray and smaller shapes on another. That way when the smaller ones are cooked first, you can whip them out and let the bigger shapes have another couple of minutes. Allow 8-12 minutes. They are cooked when the edges are golden and middles are still quite pale. Remove onto a wire rack to cool, then decorate any which way you like!
|Biscuits made for her grandmother's 88th birthday gift|
More hearts in our life.. our Valentine's Day tradition has always been a simple one - instead of cards or flowers or gifts my husband and I have always just drawn little red hearts in pen on the back of each other's hand. The girls nowadays want their own hearts too, so it's a family thing... our 13 year old son however is happy not to be included these days!
|Youngest on Valentine's Day 2010 heading off to school with her heart on her hand|
And just because I’m not at all soppy I’ve just started collecting heart shaped gifts and products from around the internet into our new Red Velvet Heart blog. I especially love the hand blown glass heart and there’s a gorgeous wooden one from Etsy that I will be adding soon. Anyone else out there a closet heart romantic?