Michelle Dar­mody

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - News -

BAK­ING and ic­ing cook­ies is a nice way to spend a few hours at the week­end. The smell of the sweet bis­cuits bak­ing fills the kitchen, and then the tan­tiliz­ing wait for them to cool be­gins. If you can wait long enough the bis­cuits will need to be cold be­fore you can start ic­ing. Cer­tainly cook­ies can but cut into which­ever shape takes your fancy, but I opted for some cir­cu­lar discs — that I then dec­o­rated with a se­lec­tion of sprin­kles — and hearts. There are hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent shape cut­ters avail­able. It is good to try and keep your var­i­ous cookie shapes an even size so they bake at the same speed.

There is raw egg used in the ic­ing recipe. If you would pre­fer to use a pas­teurised pow­dered egg white, such as meri-white, add 10g of pow­der for each egg and whisk it with 50mls of warm wa­ter un­til foamy. Fresh eggs are gen­er­ally safe to use but if some­one is in­firmed, preg­nant or very young and will be eat­ing the bis­cuits the pow­der is a good al­ter­na­tive.

When us­ing colouring for ic­ing, a lit­tle goes a long way, there are nat­u­ral colours avail­able as well as the syn­thetic ver­sions. I make pip­ing bags with the small plas­tic sand­wich bags you get in most su­per­mar­kets. I use one of the bot­tom cor­ners of the plas­tic bag to form a cone like pip­ing bag. There are quite a lot of videos on­line that will give you sim­ple tu­to­ri­als on how to ice a cookie well. I start by draw­ing a line, with my cho­sen colour, around the edge of the bis­cuit then fill­ing it in with the ic­ing. Adding top­ping such as sprin­kles or ed­i­ble glit­ter is the eas­i­est way to dec­o­rate. You can also pipe on dec­o­ra­tions and draw a line with an op­pos­ing colour.

If you would like to serve iced bis­cuits straight away you can dry them in the warm oven to har­den the ic­ing. Other­wise they will har­den in a hour or so on a wire rack at room tem­per­a­ture.

Cook­ies or bis­cuits should not be stored in the same con­tainer as cakes or they will ab­sorb the mois­ture from the cakes and be­gin to soften. If they get too hard in their own tin and you would like to soften them a lit­tle add a piece of ap­ple to the con­tainer.

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