One of the things I love about cooking and baking is the creativity of making something you’ve never made before. That’s especially true when any sort of decorating is involved. It’s something I love at the moment and would really like to do some classes in it and get better at it.
Anyway, these biscuits were inspired by the Great British Bake Off. For the showstopper challenge in biscuit week the contestants had to create a 3d scene out of biscuits. There were some impressive creations and I knew immediately that I wanted to have a go too. My little girl is currently obsessed by ducks and loves the song, 5 Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day so there was absolutely no question about what I was going to make.
The biscuits are all basically shortbread. I made the base, the pond, by adding some blue food colour to some of the biscuit dough and then just rolling it out and baking it. To make the ducks I cut a template out of paper, placed it on the dough and then cut around it as I wanted each of the little ducks to be the same size and shape. I also made little wings to stick on the sides of the ducks. I then forgot one of the cardinal rules of baking – small things bake faster. Unfortunately the wings for the little ducks were all over-baked so only the mummy duck has wings. I planned to draw little wings on the side with the icing but I forgot that too until we’d eaten half of it and it was too late. As usual with baking, my daughter helped me make the biscuits but I iced them and stood them up on the pond while she was in bed. She had a lovely surprise in the morning but it did mean we had to have biscuits for breakfast that day!
I am linking these biscuits to Our Growing Edge. Our Growing Edge is a fantastic event that encourages you to push yourself and try something a little out of your comfort zone. It could be a new technique, a new ingredient or something you’ve always wanted to make but have never quite got around to. This month I will be hosting the event. Have a look at Bunny Eats Design for the rules and to link up your recipes. I will then be publishing the roundup at the beginning of October. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates and hopefully be inspired to make something else new.
Ingredients – Recipe from BBC Good Food
300g butter, at room temperature
140g caster sugar
300g plain flour
140g rice flour
Pinch of salt
Extra Ingredients if making a duck pond and decorating the ducks
Blue food colour
Yellow icing in a tube
Black writing icing
Orange writing icing
How to Make Shortbread Biscuits
1. If you are making ducks or another shape that you don’t have a cutter for, draw the shape first on some clean paper and cut it out. You can then use this to cut around.
2. Put the butter and sugar in the food processor and blitz until they are combined. Add the flours and the salt and process again until a dough begins to form.
3. If you are making a duck pond, take about two thirds of the mixture out of the food processor and set it aside. Form it into a ball and wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to rest for an hour or more.
4. To the mixture still in the food processor, add a little blue food colour. Blitz it again to combine.
5. Take the mixture out and press it down flat to make a pond shape on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Prick it with a fork and put the tray in the fridge to rest for an hour.
6. Line three more baking trays with baking paper. Take the dough out of the fridge. Roll it out to about a centimetre thick. Cut out the shapes you want and put them on the baking trays.
7. Bake in the oven at 180C/160Cfan for about 20 minutes. If some of the shapes are very small they will cook more quickly though so be careful.
8. Cool the biscuits on wire racks.
9. Decorate the biscuits when they are cold. To make them stand up I squeezed a line of the yellow icing along the bottom edge of the ducks and then used that to stick them to the pond.