The title of this recipe offers a large hint as to what the finished biscuit should look like. Animals are the name of the game, be it a horse, a monkey or a dog. As a person who loves Christmas, I was dying to make something festive. Please forgive me for shoving the animal theme to one side in favour of something much more merry and of course jolly!
Now that my little boy is almost eighteen months, I really want him to be involved with baking. Biscuits seemed like a good place to start. As little Isaac is a whirlwind of activity, I knew all too well that I might live to regret my biscuit plan!!! I weighed the butter and flour into a large mixing bowl and then sat down on the kitchen floor with the bowl in my lap. Isaac toddled over to investigate. He watched as I rubbed the butter into the flour. Sure enough a hand ventured into the bowl and he was soon squidging the mixture between his little fingers; how very helpful! I did lose control at one point when he dropped a fistful of mixture then proceeded to mash it into the floor. Thank goodness I'm not house-proud! I thought it best if I added the egg and a little milk without my little helper’s assistance! Isaac and I soon had a soft dough and it was time to roll it out. The dough did seem a little sticky but there is no instruction to rest and chill it in the fridge. I cleared a space on our dining room table and dusted a fair amount of flour over the table and rolling pin. The dough was difficult to roll out, so I kneaded in a little more flour. This did the trick. Now it was time to gather my Christmas cutters from the drawer. This is where I hit a problem; I could only find two which were reasonably festive! I dug around in the depths of the drawer for ages but to no avail. I am certain I shall find them in the New Year when they will no longer fulfil any purpose! At least I had a star, angel and a heart; they would just have to do. I sat Isaac on my lap and, oh my goodness, was he eager to get stuck in. Little fingers gave the dough a good old poking and I think some ended up in his mouth! To be honest, Mummy did end up doing most of the cutting as Isaac didn't really get the idea of using the cutters to make shapes. He much preferred squidging up the dough. This didn't matter as we had so much fun playing with the dough. What a great way to entertain an inquisitive toddler!
The little biscuits went into the oven on various baking trays; they only needed about ten minutes in the oven and my first batch burnt, sob. As the biscuits cooled on a wire rack, I made the icing. I sifted the icing sugar into a bowl, added a little lemon juice and brought it together until I had a spreadable consistency. It did take a while to spread the thick icing onto each biscuit. First of all I kept it white and then coloured some green and red so as to make things a little more festive. Isaac's next job was to sprinkle over some decorations. We had little hearts and sprinkles. Most ended up on the table, floor and in Isaac's mouth but some did make it onto the biscuits! I was so pleased with the finished biscuits; they are so simple but pretty. However, if you ask me, the angels look more like ghosts!
I broke up a star biscuit to share with Isaac; I thought it only fair that he should get to sample his handiwork. He put one piece of the star into his mouth and smiled. He picked up another piece in his left hand then another in his right and walked off stuffing his face. I was left with one piece – how kind! It was obvious that Isaac loved his little biscuits and Neil and I enjoyed them too! They were lovely and buttery and the lemony icing combined beautifully. I've never iced a biscuit before in my life; I wasn't sure if it would be worth the effort. How wrong I was. It was so much fun but maybe my little helper made it extra special. We'll be making them again soon and perhaps next time we will make animal shapes!
|Mummy's little helper :-)|
|Isaac's Biscuits xx|