Has anyone been watching The Great British Bake Off? It finished last night and without giving anything away the person I wanted to win, won! Anyway, if you have missed it it was on BBC2 and so is on the iPlayer so I'd reccommend that you go and give it a watch!
To coincide with the television programme, a book was released that includes old favourites and some of the bakers own recipes. When I saw Miranda's vanilla biscuits in episode two I immediately wanted to make them! They looked absolutely delicious. Anyhow, I was in Tesco a good few weeks back and they selling the book for the reasonable price of £10. So after a quick flick through, I bought it and was pleased to see the biscuits were in there.
Vanilla biscuits (makes 30)
200g unsalted butter
1 egg (beaten)
1 vanilla pod
400g plain flour
Afraid there is no photo of the ingredients this week so you'll have to make do with imagining it. Not sure why I didn't, but there you go. Oh, and it is also worth saying that I halved this recipe when I orginally made it as I didn't think my friends would eat 30 biscuits. (How wrong I was!)
1. Put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl.
2. Split the vanilla pod half along its length and scrape out the seeds, into the bowl. (I used vanilla extract and the taste was fine, so if you don't have a vanilla pod to hand extract works too!)
3. Mix together until very light and creamy.
4. Gradually add in the beaten egg into the mixture.
5. Sift in the flour and mix slowly. Then, use your hands to bring together to create a soft dough.
6. Divide the dough into half and form into a thick disc. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
7. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface to a thickness of around about 5mm. Cut out shapes using your cutters and then return to the fridge to chill for a futher 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
8. Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for about 9-12 minutes - until they are just starting to turn golden brown and are firm to tough. Remove from oven, leave to firm up on trays for a minute, then place them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
(Recipe adapted from "The Great British Book of Baking" by Linda Collister).
You can leave these plain or ice them as I did. The best kind of icing for these biscuits is Royal Icing - icing sugar, water, and lemon juice. However, I didn't have any lemon juice so just used icing sugar and water. I made Royal Icing as more of a "See what the icing's doing" more than "I'll do measurements" but if you haven't made it before you want a stiff icing that holds it shape for the outline and then for the middle you "flood" - which means add a little more water to your icing so it floods the inside of your piping.
As you can probably see mine weren't so great but it was my first time. The piping itself was alright but the flooding I had a bit more of an issue with. Anyway, green dinosaurs!
Or perhaps blue is more their colour?