100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
3 tbsp clear honey
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
(sh) For the decoration
1 medium free-range egg white
225g icing sugar
Gold and silver edible lustre powder (see tip)
1. Cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs with the honey, and sift the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt in separate bowls. Add the flour and enough of the honey and egg mixture to the creamed mixture to make a soft dough. If it seems a little sticky, mix in a little more flour, but don’t let the dough get too stiff and dry.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide into 2 and knead each piece briefly until smooth. Shape into flat discs, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Using 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick. Cut out snowflakes, using a floured cutter, and lift onto baking sheets lined with baking paper. Punch a hole near the base of 1 point with a small icing nozzle to make a hole for a piece of string or ribbon to go through. Re-knead and roll the trimmings to make more biscuits.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Carefully lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
5. For the decoration, put the egg white into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to break it up a little. Sift in the icing sugar and mix to give a slightly stiff but still pipeable mixture. Spoon the mixture into a small nylon or baking paper piping bag fitted with a number 3 or number 4 plain nozzle. Pipe snowflake designs onto some of the biscuits. Onto the other biscuits, pipe a snowflake outline around the edge of each biscuit and leave to set.
6. Transfer the remaining icing from the piping bag into a clean bowl and mix in a few drops of water until the icing is more fluid (but don’t make it too runny). Drop a little icing into the centre of each outlined biscuit and use the tip of a fine skewer to tease out the icing to fill out the shape. Leave the biscuits to dry, then brush with the edible lustre powder.
- These will keep in an airtight tin for 3 weeks. Buy edible lustre powder, nylon piping bags and nozzles from www.rainbowsugarcraft.co.uk. Snowflake cutters are available from good cook shops or from www.coxandcox.co.uk. Note: this recipe uses raw egg.