Monday, 6 November 2017

Iced Almond Biscuits

The icing used to decorate these tasty Almond Iced Biscuits is made with natural colours.  Two jams, raspberry and blackcurrant, helped to create the pretty 3 colour scheme making these biscuits both effective and delicious.  Icing biscuits is a fun activity for children (& adults!).   

How to make Iced biscuits with an additive free icing


Even though I consider myself to be quite a creative person, I have to confess that my drawing skills are definitely lacking.  I'm certainly no artist.  And of course that inability to draw anything halfway decent with a pen or pencil extends to being poor at piping!

Happily, these Iced Almond Biscuits, which were inspired by this year's final episode of GBBO certainly don't call for you to be a Monet or Turner!   After a few 'blobs' (technical word there!) and swirls of icing you'll soon have a few pretty 'abstract' biscuits to share with family and friends.

These biscuits are great fun to make, both on your own or as an activity with children.  They can be decorated as simple or intricate as your imagination allows.

Addative free icing tinted with shop bought jam


How to make additive free icing!

 

Many bakes with a colour element include colour pastes in the ingredient list, which come complete with unpronounceable elements which many parents are rightly wary of.

Our pretty Iced Almond Biscuits decorated with additive free icing is a family friendly recipe.  Having been decorated with an icing tinted with a little shop bought jam, not only can you feel more confident that your family won't react to the artificial ingredients and become hyperactive (though do check the jam ingredient list to be sure), but the taste of the icing is delicately flavoured with fruits which works so beautifully with the simple almond biscuit.

Iced Almond Biscuit recipe

The three naturally coloured icings which I used in this recipe were white (no colour tint used), a soft pink coloured with a little seedless raspberry jam and a dark pink which could also be described as a soft purple which was tinted with some blackcurrant jam.    We used the same idea of using jam to tint the icing when we made our Loveheart Styled Shortbread Biscuits.  

Shortbread decorated with icing tinted with jam

One issue to be aware of when using jam to naturally tint your icing is the pieces of fruit.  This isn't a problem if you're planning on spreading the icing onto your bake with a knife, but it can of course be a problem when piping!  To prevent your piping nozzle from becoming blocked either purchase a 'smooth' and seedless jam, or pass it through a sieve to remove the fruit pieces.     

Of course, using jam to colour your icing does restrict your colour palette, but you could experiment with fresh ingredients to extend the range of colours, like I did with these Beetroot & Chocolate Cupcakes which created a vibrant pink! 

Beetroot & Chocolate Cupcakes
       


So here's how to make Iced almond Biscuits, with natural colours.  

 






print recipe

Iced Almond Biscuits
The icing used to decorate these tasty Almond Iced Biscuits is made with natural colours.  Two jams, raspberry and blackcurrant, helped to create the pretty 3 colour scheme making these biscuits both effective and delicious.  Icing biscuits is a fun activity for children (& adults).   

Details
Hands on time: Bake time:     Yield: about 20 biscuits

Specific Equipment
    Biscuit Cutter (we used a 68mm round cutter, using both the scalloped and plain round edge).
    Piping bags and plain round piping nozzles.


Ingredients
For the Almond Biscuits
  • 90g Butter, unsalted & softened
  • 60g Caster Sugar
  • 40g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • small pinch of Salt
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 150g Plain Flour + extra for rolling out the dough
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
For the Icing
  • 250g Royal Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice of
  • Jam (ideally smooth & seedless) (see note a & f below)
  • Water

Method
1. Make the biscuit dough. Place the butter and two different sugars into a good sized mixing bowl. Beat either with a wooden spoon or hand held electric beaters until pale and fluffy. Add the almond extract and pinch of salt. Add the egg gradually and beat well after each addition. Sieve the flour, ground almonds and baking powder into the mixture. Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. After a minute or so you will find that you will have a smooth dough. Avoid over mixing.2. Chill. Bring the dough together. Shape into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Place into the fridge and chill for at least an hour.3. Meanwhile make the naturally coloured icings. Decide on how many colours you want. We used 3 (see note a below). Divide the icing sugar between separate bowls for each colour. Working with one icing at a time add 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon juice, jam (see note b below) and drips of water.  Mix.  Continue to add a drip of water until you have the right consistency.  You're aiming for a fairly thick icing which will hold its shape when piped. (see note c below). Cover each of the bowls with cling film and set aside until required. 4. Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ fan / Gas 6.  Line a baking sheet with graseproof paper.5. Cut out the biscuits. Remove the biscuit dough from the fridge. Dust the work surface and rolling pin fairly liberally with flour. Roll out the biscuit dough until it is about 3mm thick. Cut out your biscuits with your cutter. Remove the off cuts. Use a pallet knife or a fish slice to carefully transfer the biscuits onto the prepared tray, leaving space between each biscuit to allow for a little spreading.  Ball up the biscuit dough off-cuts, re-roll and cut out more biscuits.  Avoid re-rolling too many times as it will make the biscuits tough. 6. Bake. Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes as you may find that some are ready to be removed from the oven. The biscuits are ready when they are a pale golden colour and very slightly darker around their edge. Return any slightly pale biscuits to the oven for a further minute or two. 7. Cool. Place the baked biscuits onto a cooling rack and allow to completely cool.8. Prepare to decorate. Fit plain piping nozzles into disposable piping bags (see note d below), one bag each for each of the icing colours you've made. Stir the icing and fill each piping bag with icing. 9. Decorate the biscuits. Pipe around the boarder with one of your icings. Flood the centre (either with the same colour or a different colour) by piping concentric circles close to one another. Use a skewer or pick to gently tease the icing to ensure the whole of the area you're piping is covered. Use other colours to create shapes and patterns.  To create a 'tear-drop' shape simply pipe 'blobs' onto the icing with a different colour.  Use a skewer or pick and drag the point through the 'blob' (avoid scratching the biscuit beneath as this could create crumbs in the icing).10. Enjoy. 
Notes: a) Our 3 icings were white (no colour used), soft pink (tinted with seedless raspberry jam) and a dark pink (tinted with blackcurrant jam which had been passed trough a sieved).  b) For 80 - 90g of icing sugar (or royal icing sugar) add 1/2 - 2 tsp of jam.  A paler shade will be achieved with just a small amount of jam.  c)  To test you have the correct thickness of icing simply allow the icing to drizzle from the spoon back into your mixing bowl.  It should create a ribbon type of pattern on top of the icing in the bowl.  After a couple of seconds it will blend back into itself.   d) Consider making some simple piping bags with greaseproof paper shaped into a cone. e) You may need to bake the biscuits in two batches.  f)  If your jam contains fruit pieces aim to remove as much fruit as possible by passing it through a sieve.












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How to make Iced Almond Biscuits decorated with an additive free icing which has been tinted with jam.





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This post has been shared with: 

 Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice

Bake of the Week co-hosted by Helen at Casa Costello & Jenny at Mummy Mishaps

Only Crumbs Remain Mummy Mishaps CookBlogShare Link up your recipe of the week





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24 comments:

  1. These are so pretty - they remind me of Slovenian lect. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I've just googled the Slovenian Lect Nico (I wsn't aware of them until now) - they're so incredibly pretty aren't they :-D
      Angela x

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  2. These are too adorable to eat surely...nahh!! Plus these will adapt easily into a gluten free recipe too...saved in the ever increasing to-do-list! #RecipeoftheWeek

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, nahh ;-D I'll leave the GF re-jig to you that's certainly more your domain than mine Rebecca - but do let me know how you get on with them if you give them a go.
      Angela x

      Delete
  3. Oh my gosh. These are beautiful and so so clever. I would never have thought of colouring icing with jam. Totally inspired.

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Vicki, looking forward to seeing what you make :-)
      Angela x

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  4. So pretty - and what a lovely way of making that final GBBO challenge achievable for us mere mortals!! (I'm with you on the lack of artistic skills - back in my teaching days, I used to make my students howl with laughter with my bad stick men drawings!) Love the jam tips too! Thanks for linking them up to #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

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    1. Haha, sounds as though we're as good as one another. The decoration on my recent batch of clay pots were simply splattered with glaze Jackson Pollock esk! I must admit I was tempted by the entrmet but I just simply didn't have the time if I was realistic!
      Angela x

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  5. These are so pretty Angela - I love the way you've made the icing with jam too! My daughter would love to help make and ice biscuits like these although my son would just want to eat the icing. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

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    Replies
    1. Haha, I was sorely tempted by your son's approach too Corina ;-D
      Angela x

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  6. These are so pretty Angie!! Love the abstract art on those cookies!! And this tip on using jams to tint the icing is awesome..I am going to utilize this soon :).

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou so much Deepika, I'm looking forward to see what you come up with :-D
      Angela x

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  7. They are so pretty, I love how you've iced them!

    ReplyDelete
  8. These look so pretty and intricate. The colours are lovely too x

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou so much Cat, the only draw back with using jam to tint the icing is the limited colour palatte :-)
      Angela x

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  9. Oh Angela, these are so pretty I love the slightly muted colours.

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    1. Thankyou Jacqui, I'm really pleased how well they came out (though tbh to start with I was getting a little frustrated with them because in my mind's eye I was going to have some really pretty flowers on them! I soon learnt to work with my own abilities ;-))
      Angela x

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  10. Oh Angela these look fantastic. I wish I had more patience with icing. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou so much Kirsty, these didn't take toooo long with keeping things so simple. :-)
      Angela x

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  11. You certainly are creative Angela. These are so clever and so gorgeous. Fantastic way to colour the icing too.... I would never have thought of that! Love them x

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou so much Kate, that's so lovely of you :-D
      Angela x

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