One of my closest friends has recently had a beautiful baby boy and so I decided to bake up some goodies to help her through those sleep-deprived first weeks. I’ve had a set of new baby cookie cutters in the cupboard for ages and I’d seen this recipe in my most recent Good Food magazine (cut out into very cute bee shapes!) so I decided to give it a go. I had a jar of very special Sark wildflower honey from a recent weekend on the beautiful island of Sark in the Channel Islands and so decided to use it for this recipe.
Making these biscuits is actually very easy – just stick all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz! The original recipe suggested that you could roll and cut the dough straight away – I decided to stick with the Biscuiteers’ method of popping them in the fridge first. To be honest, I’m not sure if this is necessary!
The original recipe just suggested plain icing, but I added lemon juice and a touch of orange blossom water to add a bit of interest and echo the floral flavours of the honey.
However, icing these was not simple! I must remember when I next make biscuits that I should not attempt to ice with more than 2 or 3 colours! Mixing up lots of different colours of line and flooding icing takes ages! And icing biscuits generally takes quite a while! In the end, these weren’t quite as neat as I’d have liked because I had to hurry to get them finished!
Overall, these biscuits were nice and spicy and the honey flavour came through well in the background. I’m not sure that I would worry about putting in really good quality honey next time, as I think that the other flavours meant that the quality of the honey was not really noticeable. I really did like the extra flavour that the lemon and orange flower water gave to the icing.
Honeybread biscuits with Sark wildflower honey
Makes approximately 20-25 biscuits
- 300g plain flour
- 100g diced butter
- 1 tblsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 100g light brown soft sugar
- 1 large egg
- 100g clear honey
- 500g royal icing sugar
- 75ml lemon juice or water
- Couple of drops of orange blossom water (optional)
- Place all the biscuit ingredients into a food processor and whizz to a smooth dough.
- Split the dough in half.
- Place half of the dough between two sheets of baking parchment and roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Pre-heat oven to 180C.
- Remove dough from fridge, stamp out shapes using chosen cutters and place on a baking tray.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Add the water to the royal icing sugar in a large bowl.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until combined (this stops your kitchen being coated in a fine dusting of icing!)
- Use an electric mixer to beat the mix (starting on low and increasing to high speed) for about 5 minutes. You are looking for the mix to be bright white and a toothpaste-like consistency (this is “line icing”).
- Divide the line icing between smaller bowls.
- Use a skewer to add small amounts of the paste colours to the bowls of icing, adding a little at a time until you reach the desired colour.
- Spoon some of the icing into a piping bag with a very small round tip.
- Pipe the outlines of the shapes. Set aside the rest of the line icing to add details to the iced biscuits.
- Add water/more juice to the icing left in the bowls until you reach a pouring consistency (this is called “flooding icing”).
- Spoon into a piping bag or piping bottle.
- Pipe the flooding icing onto the biscuits to fill the areas outlined on the biscuits.
- Allow iced biscuits to set.
- Use remaining line icing and other decorative items to complete the decoration of the biscuits.
- Leave to dry for at least 24 hours.