Monday, March 15, 2010

Jingling Christmas balls

message for Christmas of 2009 :
For a second batch of stilish biscuits I used a recipe that could maintain a fairly clear color, like a blank canvas ready to be interpreted by the painter. The comparison is a bit strong, because I do not pretend to make art here, especially when my goal with these crunchy painted biscuits was to find an occupation for my youngest and impatient cousin! Of course, it's impossible to keep his attention during such long hours of design, so I took over until the end! I don't complain at all. I loved doing that.

Here is a part of the result, because in the end we counted 47 biscuits! To avoid spoiling anything, I filled small bags destined to each member of the family, so that if there was too much to eat, they could could leave with that. It's an adventure that I'd repeat at any opportunity, with an appropriate theme. I looked for a lot of material to decorate the biscuits : colored sugar, mini-figures made of sugar, coloring to make icing, chocolate and golden icing... The more diversifyed palette you have, the more you have fun, naturally! You can find enough in almost any supermarket, but for the rest, there's always internet! So keep looking.

But first, you need to roll up your sleeves.

Ingredients for about fifty biscuits:
100g white flour
70g wholemeal flour
60g ground almonds
1 / 2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
120g butter
100g sugar + 100g brown sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 teaspoon Anacoco liquor (or other liquor Islands)
2 tablespoons candied orange cut into small cubes

In a bowl, whisk the softened butter with the sugars for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and the second yolk and continue beating. Add the liquor.

Flour the oranges a bit to prevent them from sticking together. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and pour at once into the mixture. Add the oranges. Continue to beat so that the ingredients can integrate and agglomerate and finish with a spatula to form a ball with the dough. Cut into three pieces, wrap them in kitchen foil and put them in the refrigerator a few hours. I cut it in 3 parts to be sure the dough stays cold, because it's far easier to use it. If you want to take some advance with this recipe, you can also keep it two months in the freezer.

Prepare a floured work surface. Take the first ball of dough. With a rolling-pin, roll it out to a few millimeters thick. To get the same thickness everywhere, flip it several times during the operation, flouring the working plan if necessary. With the help of a round cookie cutter about 5cm or a glass of the desired diameter, make a precut disk of dough. With a sharp knife, add a little head to form a Christmas ball. Finish off the disc with the knife and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can also make moons, trees, cane sugar, in short, everything that will relate to the event. But when the form is more complex, you'll have difficulty finding cutters! If you still wish to do it, then patience is the first word. 

Separate your shapes of 2 inches since the biscuits swell a little during cooking. Bake the plate for ten minutes at 180 ° C. Remove them when they are slightly colored.
Regarding the decoration, do not hesitate to use all the tools around you, spreading knife, fork or toothpick to make dots, so patience and precision is also in order. Making a classic frosting is very easy, because you just have to use icing sugar, lemon juice and any food coloring. In quantity, I would say a tablespoon of icing sugar for a small teaspoon of lemon. But it depends on the result you want, then test and adjust accordingly. Just know that sugar icing flies very quickly and melts like snow in sunshine. But that's an appropriated time for that. 

To get a better view of these, follow me here, to my Flick page.

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