So far we've got:-
Decorated biscuits - a simple start
Homemade puff pastry
That's without even consulting the library of baking books, so I'm sure the list will increase. Any suggestions gratefully received.
I thought I'd have a play with some of my decorating tools and chose the Vanilla Sugar Cookies from The Pink Whisks 'The Busy Girls Guide to Cake Decorating' as a base biscuit. The recipe makes a lot of dough, so I used half and put half in the freezer. Wrapped in clingfilm, it can last up to 3 months.
The dough is rolled out between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and then chilled for 30 minutes before cutting out the shapes.
Then chill again for 15 minutes. This helps the biscuits hold their shape in the oven. I baked in a 180C static oven with 8 minutes for smaller cookies and 9 minutes for larger cookies.
Re-chill the dough between each rolling out as the dough softens fast and the shapes don't hold firm when cutting them out.
The online recipe does suggest vanilla paste, but the book gives 5ml of vanilla extract as an alternative. That's what I went with.
Now the first batch never even made it to the decorating stage - I warn you they are a bit moorish! The second half of the dough was whipped out the freezer and baked the next day.
Once cooled you then get to the fun part. The making up stage! Here's some of the tools I used.
I used fondant icing for the decorations this time. The purple has some Dr Oetker gel colouring kneaded into the white fondant icing. You just keep adding drops of it, until you have the colour you require. I didn't glue the icing on. A soft push on the top seemed to adhere it to the biscuit.
Some of my final offerings.
I can't wait to get a bit more inventive, but these were a start! Do you like my new cake tin - a cheeky birthday present from friends :-)
Some more practise on the biscuits I think, then decide what else to make from my new baking challenge list!