Friday, September 6, 2013

A Bouquet of Biscuits

How about rustling up some of these for Mum this Mother’s Day?  
Treat your someone special to a plate full of gorgeous flower biscuits – they’re much easier to do than they look and I know my Mum will love them!
Whilst I’ve got you here I’ve also spotted a great little comp by Waitrose Direct – they’re having a Making for Mumcompetition on their facebook page, and I know you lot are crafty and creative!  There are some great prizes on offer and all you have to do is submit of a photo of  what you’ve made for your Mum,  I’m heading straight off to send them these.
So let’s get to it!
You will need:
1 x batch of biscuit dough, recipe here
Gel Paste Colours - green and pink
How To:
Set aside 3/4′s of the biscuit dough and divide the remaining into 3.
To colour each of these flatten out the dough, add a little amount of gel paste colouring the the centre, gather the dough up to enclose the colour in the middle and start to knead gently to disperse the colour.
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Try and keep the colouring in the middle of your ball of dough and let it work it’s way out – that way you should avoid getting a big blob on your hands and walking round with green fingers for the rest of the week!
Knead until the colour is evenly dispersed throughout the dough.  If the colour is too pale add in a touch more gel paste and knead again.
Colour one portion green, for the leaves and two portions pink, one slightly paler than the other just by adding less or more of the pink gel paste.
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Set the colours to one side, wrapped in clingfilm or in a plastic bag so they don’t dry out.
Roll out portions of plain biscuit dough on your worksurface, keep it lightly floured to make sure the dough doesn’t stick.
Cut out circular biscuits and transfer to a tray lined with baking paper or a non-stick liner.
Take a slightly smaller circular cutter, position it evenly on the biscuit and press down lightly – not to cut through the biscuit just to imprint the circle.
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Now it’s time for the flowers.  The design is entirely up to you – some bigger flowers, some with smaller ones.  I soon got bored doing the tiddly ones (sorry Mum!)
You shouldn’t need any flour or oil on your hands to stop the dough from sticking to you, once the butter in the biscuit dough warms up and the dough is nice and pliable you’re good to go.
For the flowers – roll a ball in the palm of your hand.
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Roll the ball into a long sausage.
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Using the forefinger of your opposite hand press down the length of the sausage, just on one side to make it thin.
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 Now from one end start to curl up the sausage, the thin side is the petals outer edge.
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Roll it up, fairly loosely around the top edge of the flower until you get the the end.
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Using a pair of scissors, snip the excess off the base of the flower, this will give it a flat base to sit on.  Whilst the flower is still sat on the blades of the scissors you can transfer it over to the biscuit and set it down roughly where you want it.
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For the leaves – roll a ball of green in the palm of your hand.
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Flatten it with your fingertip.
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Pinch one end to form the leaf shape.
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Using a knife mark a line down the centre of the leaf to create the vein.
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Play around with leaves and flowers of different sizes.  The pieces just need placing onto the biscuits, they bake into position so need no water or anything else to stick them there.
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Once you’ve decorated all your biscuits put the tray into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
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Preheat the oven to 190c (fan)/200c/Gas Mark 6.
Check that the dough of the flowers is firm and then bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes.  Keep an eye on them as they bake, turning the tray around mid bake if they are browning too much on one side.
They should just be very lightly golden.  If over baked then the flowers and leaves will take on too much of a golden tinge too.
Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Serve to your lovely Mum for Mother’s Day!
They’ll keep for 1 week in an airtight container.
Coloured dough is a great thing to let the children play with and create their own designs, colour up portions of dough and set them creating!
You can use all sorts of colours of gel pastes so don’t restrict yourself to pink – for me that was of course the natural choice.  Blues are great but purple tends to go fairly grey in the oven so it’s probably best avoided.


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