Easter is always a great time for baking and this extract from Quick Cakes for Busy Mums by Karen Taylor, £14.99 (B. Dutton Publishing) offers you a couple of colourful recipes.
Easter Egg Biscuits
200g (7oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g (14oz) plain flour
Apricot jam, boiled and cooled
SK Sugar Dough: 200g (7oz) Pink, 200g (7oz) Yellow
200g (7oz) SK Sugarpaste: Bridal White coloured with Dark Green and a touch of Yellow paste food colours
SK Quality Food Colour (QFC) Pastes: Dark Green and Yellow
SK Quality Food Colour (QFC) Dusts: Orange and Yellow
SK Professional Dust Food Colour: Rose
80g (2¾oz) SK Instant Mix Royal Icing
2 x large baking trays
Easter egg (or oval) cookie cutter
Round cutters: 6mm (¼”), 9mm (3/8”), 1.2cm (½”), 1.5cm (5/8”)
Piping nozzles: 2 x nos. 1.5
1. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract into an electric mixer and cream them together until well-combined and creamy. Avoid over-mixing as this will cause the biscuits to spread as they are baking.
2. Add the egg until well combined, then turn the mixer down to the lowest setting and add a little of the flour. Gradually add all the flour and mix until a dough is formed.
3. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F/gas mark 5.
4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm (¼”) thick. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper, place the biscuit dough onto the tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Cut out 24 egg shapes using the egg- or oval-shaped cookie cutter.
6. Place the cookies on two baking trays lined with parchment so they are not touching then bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes. The biscuits should be slightly brown around the edges when baked. Leave to cool.
7. Brush the biscuits with cooled, boiled apricot glaze. Roll out the green-coloured sugarpaste to 3mm (1/8”) thick and cut out eight egg shapes from the paste. Lay a piece of sugarpaste onto each cookie and smooth down with your hands. Repeat this method with Pink and Yellow Sugar Dough to make eight pink and eight yellow egg cookies.
8. Roll out a small amount of the remaining green sugarpaste thinly and cut out a circle using each of the different-sized round cutters. Attach the green circles randomly over the pink eggs using edible glue.
9. Make up the royal icing according to the packet instructions and divide it into two bowls. Colour one half with Rose dust food colour and the other half with Yellow and a spot of Orange dust food colours.
10. Fit a small piping bag with a no. 1.5 nozzle and fill 2/3 with pink royal icing. Starting from the left and piping one line at a time, pipe a crisscross pattern over the yellow cookies. Pipe loops across the middle of each of the green cookies in pink royal icing.
11. Fit another small piping bag with a no. 1.5 nozzle and fill 2/3 with yellow royal icing. Pipe zigzag lines above and below the pink line on the green cookies.
You can get all your cake decorating supplies from Squires Kitchen at www.squires-shop.com or pop in store at 3 Waverley Lane, Farnham.