Cakes & Bakes

Rachel Taylor

Decorations you can eat!

Cakes
Yippeeee. The Christmas lights are on! One thing that really helps the dull afternoons and dark evenings is driving through a town and admiring all the Christmas lights.

They give you such a nice warm feeling looking up at them.

I know a lot of people like the more traditional coloured lights but I’m definitely a classic white/icy blue light girl myself.

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That said, there will be both white and coloured lights in our house this year!

I finally managed to find the right tree. A big decision! All being well, it will last a few years so it had to be a good one!

Mum and I went up to my sisters last week to put up her trees for the wee ones. It really did put me in the mood to get ours on the go. Such a big child at heart!

So clearly today’s recipe had to be something festive. I am always on the lookout for recipes that are quick, simple and are good to make with children.

Not only do they come in handy for me at school, but they are also useful for sharing here to give all the parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles ideas for things to make with the kiddos.

This recipe today is just perfect for that. I know my own niece and nephew love using the shaped cutters to make things and helping to decorate with icing and so on is a real fun activity for them.

So this could be a project to fill one of these cold, wintry weekends with  – with the torrential rain and crazy wind we have had, it is always good to have a rainy day activity at hand to keep small hands occupied.

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These treats can also double up as an edible gift for friends and family – just pop them in a cellophane bag and tie with a glitzy ribbon. Job done. I hope you have fun with these treats – I would love to see some pictures! Enjoy… happy baking.

Ingredients

• 225g self raising flour
• 100g butter
• 1 egg
• Splash of milk
• 75g caster sugar
Icing:
• 200g icing sugar
• Splash of water

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170C (fan). Sprinkle a little flour on two baking trays.
2. Combine the flour and butter by rubbing in with fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar.
3. Beat the egg and milk together and add to the flour mixture. Use a knife to stir into a dough.
4. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
5. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough out
to about half a centimetre thickness.
6. Use pastry cutters or Christmas shaped cutters to make biscuits – the number you get will depend on the size of your cutters.
7. Bake for around 8-10 minutes, the edges will have
started to brown but will still feel soft.
8. Transfer to a cooling rack to firm up. (see tip of the week). Make icing by stirring a little water into the icing sugar- about a tablespoon. It should be quite a thick paste.
9. Decorate your biscuits and add Christmas decorations and silver balls.