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Basic Cut-Out Biscuit/Cookie Recipe?

Asked by snaught. Answered on 25th March 2011

Full question

Hi there, I'm looking to find a recipe that Nigella features in one of her tv shows for biscuits. During the programme she showed us her amazing cookie cutter collection, then went on to make simple biscuits using an array of shapes which her children and their friends then decorated with coloured icing. I have my neice and nephew coming to stay for Easter and thought it would be a fun couple of hours one afternoon with them, and give me the chance to use my new "easter bunny" cutter?! I wonder if you'd be able to point me in the right direction for his great biscuit recipe?? Much appreciated Sue

Our answer

Nigella has a few biscuit/cookie recipes she likes to use to make cut-out biscuits for children. Two are ginger-flavored doughs - a milder one appears in How To Eat on p503 (the introduction to the recipe also gives instructions on how to make a chocolate version of the dough) and a stronger, more peppery version appears in Christmas on p194. The other is Butter Cut-Out Biscuits which appears in Domestic Goddess on p212 and a similar version is in Feast on p266. It is most likely that you saw one of the butter biscuit recipes For all of the recipes we suggest you wrap and chill the dough slightly before rolling out on a lightly floured work surface and then lightly flour the cutter that you are using (put a little flour in a saucer and dip the cutter in before cutting out each biscuit).

The icing is simply a mixture of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) mixed with a little warm water and food colouring. This glace icing dries but doesn't set very hard so if you want to stack the biscuits as presents then you may like to add some dried egg white (meringue powder) to the icing sugar, or use royal icing sugar mixture but add enough water to give a thick spreading consistency and don't beat the icing. If you are using liquid food colour then add it when the icing is still quite thick so that you get the colour you want without thinning the icing too much (paste colours are thicker so can be added at the end if preferred).

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