Do you have a category of products that although you have thousands of you keep buying more? I mean like nail varnish, serving platters, stationery, perfume, post-it notes kinda thing? I do. It’s
all of the above cookie cutters.
And of that category, there must be some that you’ve never quite found a use for. The taupe coloured nail varnish that you bought simply because its colour name was ‘geography teacher’, or the loyalty card for McDonald’s coffee that only has one stamp because let’s face it their ‘Americanos’ are awful. Sound familiar?
So my awkward group of cookie cutters are some speech bubble shapes that I got from Lakeland (best shop ever) for Christmas or something and I haven’t yet felt the need to express my feelings in biscuit form. Until now.
So recently I’ve been visiting friends at University as a research mission to find out what recipes I can put on my blog for my mainly student readership (and to see my friends obvs). So yeah, easy quick cheap recipes blah blah ok I get it but there are hundreds of blogs, newspaper articles and recipe videos of those and so I’m not reallllly feeling like adding to that overwhelming load. So if you want me to help you with cooking at Uni and you are in self catered accommodation, your best bet is to invite me over and let me take over your kitchen. Just sayin’.
But, something I have noticed on my travels is the trend of slightly passive aggressive notes on self catered kitchen fridges in University halls all around the country. Things along the theme of “PLEASE do not use metal on my Teflon pan”, “To the person who used my bowl and didn’t wash it up CHEERS” and “If you chun in the flat it’s your responsibility to clear it up THANKS”. You know what I mean. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Introducing, the alternative…
Passive aggressive biscuits. The vehicle for complaint of the future. It’s like, I hate you but here’s something to soften the blow.
And you know what? You can make them dairy free. And they are dead easy. And you can of course use this basic biscuit recipe for every cookie cutter you own. As a small insight to the vast collection I have, here’s a throwback to the Christmas cookies I made in 2012. I hope you can spot the dinosaurs, cats and squirrels with Christmas hats. And the Portal Companion cube the cake is a lie. It was Christmas so I went for it.
Now, before we embark on the recipe let’s just chat about icing. In the second photo of my Christmas cookies you can see the beautifully decorated brightly coloured icing – and no, it’s not just a super fab Instagram filter they really were that brightly coloured. I use royal icing for icing biscuits – the Americans even call it ‘Cookie Icing’ so I think I’m on the right track here. I’ve included my recipe for making royal icing here but feel free to use candy melts, buttercream, chocolate or whatever you please.
Here we go!
- 225g dairy free spread (I used Soy Pure)
- 110g caster sugar
- 300g plain flour + extra for dusting
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Beat the spread/butter until it is airy and lighter in colour.
- Add the sugar and vanilla extract, beat together until thoroughly combined.
- Now sift in half of the flour. Mix, then add the other half. Keep mixing until a firm dough forms.
- Once you have a firm dough, wrap it up in cling film and put it in the freezer whilst the oven preheats to 190°, or 170° for fan assisted. Whilst you're at it, prepare some baking tins with greaseproof paper.
- Take the dough out of the freezer and roll it out on a well floured board, about the thickness of a pound coin.
- Cut out shapes with your desired cutters, and carefully (they're fragile!) place onto the baking trays.
- Bake for about 7 minutes, but keep an eye on them because they burn quickly. You will know they're done when they are slightly golden around the edges. When they are cool, you can decorate!
- It's difficult to say how many biscuits this recipe makes, as that depends on what size/shape/thickness of your cutters. As it says in the description, if you end up with too much just freeze it for another day (defrost fully at room temperature or overnight in the fridge before use).
- Also, this recipe totally works with real butter. Use it gram for gram as you would dairy free spread.
- 1 egg white
- 240g icing sugar
- ½ tsp glycerine
- First, whisk the egg whites until frothy. There's no need to use a hand mixer for this, you can whisk the whites with a fork easily by hand.
- Add the icing sugar to the eggs through a sieve a bit at a time. Stir thoroughly.
- Now add the glycerine and mix until combined.
- Separate the mixture in to separate bowls and add food colouring, if desired. Make sure you use gel food colouring as liquid will affect the consistency.
- No glycerine? That's ok, it's a humectant which stops the icing drying out. You can probably do without it, so no worries.
- If you're concerned about using raw eggs in your icing, you can get dried egg whites and reconstitute them with water. Or, you could try pasteurised liquid egg whites which you can find in Waitrose from a company called Two Chicks.
- If you are going to use real eggs, don't waste the yolk! Learn to make mayonnaise with it, put it in an omelette. Or feed it to your dog. I hear dogs really dig (pun!) egg yolk.
So easy! Right? So go on, make a hint at the person who annoys you the most in your life with a passive aggressive message. On a biscuit.
Much love my salad leaves! (is that a cute name? Like Beliebers or Whovians but cooler)
P.S. I got a REALLY exciting email yesterday about a thing to do with this blog and it’s such huge news I’m so excited so make sure you subscribe to my mailing list on the right so you get to hear it. Trust me it’s soooo worth it.
P.P.S. I need to change my icon since I dyed my hair. Oops.
P.P.P.S. Sorry I haven’t posted since December… I did miss you though ok?