For the ic­ing

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - GOOD TASTE -

1 egg white squeeze of le­mon juice about 300g ic­ing sugar, sifted

Cream the but­ter and sugar in a mixer. Add the spices, zest and trea­cle or mo­lasses, and beat again, then add 2 tbsp of the milk. With the beater on a low speed, add the flour and bi­car­bon­ate of soda.

Scrape the dough off your beat­ers and, us­ing your hands, bring the dough to­gether into a ball. Add more milk if you need to, but don’t let the dough be­come sticky. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for an hour.

Lightly flour a work sur­face and roll out the dough 3mm thick. Stamp your shapes and put them on to two lightly but­tered bak­ing sheets. Gather the re­main­ing dough into a ball, roll out again and keep stamp­ing un­til it has all been used.

Put the sheets in the fridge for about 45 min­utes and heat the oven to 180C/170C fan*/gas mark 4. Cook the bis­cuits for 12 min­utes.

They should start to feel firm round the edges as they cool and even­tu­ally be­come re­ally hard – they need to have a nice ‘snap’.

To make the ic­ing, gen­tly beat the egg white, then add the le­mon juice and as much ic­ing sugar as needed – it should be re­ally thick if you are go­ing to pipe it, thin­ner if you plan to driz­zle it. Dec­o­rate as you like.

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