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“Oh-So-Cute” Easter Biscuits (with a spelt & honey recipe option)

As Easter is fast approaching, we wanted to share this recipe that Alicia uses for these “Oh-so-Cute”  Easter biscuits. Alicia has provided two different biscuit dough recipes — “Dough One” is made with regular wheat-flour and sugar and “Dough Two” is made with spelt flour and honey (instead of regular sugar.) Either dough works well so pick the one you are most comfortable with.

A quick note about Dough Two — spelt is NOT a gluten-free grain. To find out more about spelt, or many of the other ingredients that we use, look them up in our “Geek-a-Licious” glossary. Any ingredients in bold can be clicked on and will take you straight into their Geek-A-Licious entry, so that you can find out a little more about their nutritional properties.

Anyway, back to biscuits….Of course we buy biscuits from the shops  but we honestly prefer to make our own when we can – they taste so good and, in some ways, are going to be better for you. Home baking gives complete control over the quality ingredients used and also means that you know exactly what is in what you have made… no odd stabilisers/synthetic flavours/transfats.

You can also reduce the sugar quantity you use — you’d be surprised how much you can reduce sugar amounts in recipes by and still end up with a delicious biscuit! These dough recipes are much lower in sugar than you might expect because they take into account that, once decorated, these have additional sugar from their jam/meringue toppings.

Both doughs can be used for the “egg” and “sheep” biscuits. You just need to decide in advance which you are going to make. If you are going to make both — then you either need to halve the quantity of sheep “topping” you make  so that you can make a half batch of each shape — or double the quantity of dough you make to make 2 full batches of both shapes! So much maths!

We’d suggest that you read the recipe/method carefully before you start –especially for the “Egg” biscuits as they have a few extra stages to them. We promise you that, although the write up might look complicated, these are actually easy to make. If you get confused reading our instructions (sorry!), just look at the photos and it should all begin to make sense!

Once made the biscuits will keep well for a couple of weeks in a totally airtight tin — however, the reality is that they will be gobbled up much faster than that!

 

What you Need:

Cookie Cutters:

  • Egg shaped & a Small circular cutter (for the “yolk” shape in the egg biscuit.)
  • Sheep shape
  • NOTE  – you can easily draw the shapes onto cardboard to use as a template. Place the template onto the dough and the “draw” around it with a small knife.

For the “Egg” Biscuits:

  • For the “yolk” -a jar of lemon curd/orange marmalade/apricot/peach jam — try and go for a good quality one. These tend to have more fruit in them and a lower sugar content (please try to steer clear of ones with synthetic/artificial sweeteners in them.)

For the “Sheep” Biscuits:

  • 3 egg whites – use organic, free range if you can.
  • 150g white caster sugar (for a white, fluffy sheep — unfortunately, you will need the white sugar.)
  • 100g of unsweetened coconut flakes/unsweetened desiccated coconut

 

Dough 1:

  • 150g Unsalted Butter   – try for organic
  • 50g icing sugar – unrefined is available — it gives a deeper taste and colour
  • 250g flour – try for organic
  • 2 Tablespoons of Milk – or milk alternative of your choice
  • Optional – Zest of 1/2-1 Unwaxed Lemon OR of 1/2 an Unwaxed Orange

Dough 2:

  • 215g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 50-60g Honey of your choice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Optional – Zest of 1/2-1 Unwaxed Lemon OR of 1/2 an Unwaxed Orange

 

How to Make it:

Dough 1 Ingredients:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper/silicone paper. The butter needs to be at room temperature before you start.
  2. Add the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat/stir them together until they are light and creamy. You can do this by hand but it will take a good 4-5 minutes of vigorous beating until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy and your arm will really start to ache. The plus side of doing this by hand is that you are burning extra calories and working on your biceps and triceps at the same time — switch arms for a balanced pre-biscuit “workout.”Alternatively, if you have an electric beater/whisk, then you can definitely use it at a mid/fast speed and the job will be done in 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the milk, flour and citrus zest (if using) and combine the lot together until you get a fairly firm dough. This is now ready to roll out and cut your biscuit shapes from (whatever shape you have chosen – eggs, sheep, freestyle!) The dough should be around 1/2 centimeter/quarter of an inch thick when rolled.

Dough 2 Ingredients:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper/silicone paper. The butter needs to be at room temperature before you start.
  2. Very similar to the Dough 1 method. Beat the butter and honey in a bowl until light and fluffy. See comments in the instructions for Dough 1 as to how long this takes depending on whether you are doing this by hand or with an electric beater/whisk.
  3. Then add your spelt flour, a tiny pinch of good quality salt (see Geek-A-Licious about this) until you get a firm dough which is ready to roll out and cut your biscuit shapes from (whatever shape you have chosen.) The dough should be a 1/2 centimeter/quarter of an inch thick when rolled.

 

For the “Eggs”:

  1. Once you have cut out all your egg shapes, you need to take half the eggs and use the small, circle biscuit cutter to cut out a circle from them for where the “yolk” should be.  These biscuits with the circular hole will be the “top” of the finished item. (Look at the photo of the final biscuit so that this makes better sense.) The dough that you get back from the circle cut outs can be reformed, re-rolled and used to cut a few more biscuits from.
  2. Place all biscuits onto the baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until very lightly browned. Take them out of the oven and let them cool at room temperature as they will continue firming up a little during this process.
  3. Once they are totally cooled, take the “bottom” biscuit (without the “yolk” hole) and put a little dollop of your lemon curd/jam/marmalade onto it and spread it onto the biscuit.
  4. Then place the “top” layer biscuit (with the “yolk” hole) on top so that they stick together like a little biscuit sandwich and the jam “yolk” shows through nicely.
  5. Allocate someone to do the washing/cleaning up.

At this stage, it is customary for the cook to eat one in private as a “perk” of the job and just to check they are tasty enough to serve to others! Shhhhh… this is a treat recipe and so we’re allowed to be a little naughty.

For the “Sheep”:

  1. Once you have cut out as many sheep shapes as you can, place them onto your prepared baking tray.
  2. Next, prepare the sheep “fleece” by whisking the eggs whites and caster sugar together until they form a stiff, glossy meringue-like mixture — this will take a good few minutes by hand but only a minute or two with an electric whisk at fast speed.
  3. Gently fold the coconut into the meringue mixture and then, either using a piping bag or a teaspoon, load a generous, woolly dollop of the mixture onto the “body” of each sheep (leaving it off the face and legs!) Look at the photo to get an idea of how it should look.
  4. Then place the biscuits into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Once out of the oven, allow them to cool.
  5. Allocate someone to do the washing/cleaning up.

We’d love it if you had a go at baking these and, for those of you who will be celebrating next weekend, we’d like to wish you and yours a very happy Easter from both of us. Enjoy the treats and festivities.

 

If you have enjoyed this recipe – please do sign up to subscribe/follow the blog and also do find us and follow on Twitter and Instagram @TeamGDSJ — thank you so much!

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