I think that the real fundamentals of thoughtful baking is having a really reliable recipe that can be altered to suit someone’s thoughtful thought. A great example of this is a basic cookie-cutter biscuit dough.
A cookie-cutter biscuit dough needs to be similar to a short bread – will not rise or change shape during cooking. It can also be frozen and pulled out when needed for a thoughtful occasion.
So, I was excited to show you just the tip of the iceberg of where a little bit of creativity and a very basic trusty cookie dough recipe can take you. Another grand final weekend took me to, once again, make football jerseys with hawthorn colours. To change it up a bit this year, I made a salted caramel ganache to be the brown stripe. I relied on the golden biscuit underneath for the yellow colour.
However, you can make whatever you desire. These can be used to make Halloween cookies, christmas cookies, or even for a wedding bonboniere. Wrap these cute little biscuits in cellophane and you have a creative bonboniere, or christmas presents, or whatever your heart desires. If your loved-ones love dogs – make dog shaped biscuits!
I recently bought some new cookie cutters – a big box of random shapes. My favourite so far is the dinosaur. Could any cookie be cuter?
I hope this helps spark some thoughtful cookies for someone – perhaps make their favourite animal, or their favourite colours. Good Luck, and enjoy!
You can also make extra, or make this recipe and freeze half if you don’t want to make them all at once. Just defrost, roll out and bake. Too easy!
To decorate, there are lots of alternatives. You can make a simple butter icing, or colour white chocolate as I did.
One of my favourite biscuit tips: When lining a baking tray with baking paper, put a few little dobs of butter in the corners to keep the paper down. No need to butter the whole tray underneath the paper as it will just be harder to wash.
- 250g butter, softened
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2½ cups plain flour
- ½ cup cornflour or rice flour
- 1 pack of white chocolate melts.
- 1 pack of mixed food colouring
- Using an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon, cream (mix) together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add egg and mix in.
- Add sifted flours and mix together. Bring this together and knead lightly by hand until a smooth dough.
- Divide in half and press into a disc. Cover each half in glad wrap. At this stage, you can freeze one half to use later. When you use it later, just defrost and roll out.
- Allow to rest for 20 minutes to half an hour in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 140degC/160degC for fan-forced/non-fan-forced ovens.
- Unwrap and place disc of shortbread in between two sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling-pin on top of the baking paper, roll out until approximately 3mm thick. Having them a little thicker adds a softer texture.
- Peel back top layer of paper and cut out using cutters of choice. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake until lightly golden brown. (Approx 15 minutes).
- Stand on the tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire cooling rack.
- Melt the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave, in 30 second increments. Mix after each heating and put back in the microwave for another 30 seconds if not yet melted. It will probably take 3-4 times, depending on your microwave and size of the pack of melts.
- Pour white chocolate into smaller bowls. Decide on the colours of decoration.
- Add food colouring to each bowl to get desired icing.
- Using a small spatula, (like this one: http://www.cakedecoratingitems.com/prod02.htm), pour about a teaspoon of the chocolate onto the biscuit. Spread into desired locations and scrape off any excess. Biscuits with one or two colours tend to look better, and are easier to spread.
- Pour other colour into a small piping bag and pipe desired pattern.
- Save any unused chocolate in an airtight container for use next time.