As Bean is about to turn 8 in a few days, I am doing my annual round of making and baking. I asked what theme this year’s cake might take, and have been told that Jurassic World, from the Jurassic Park series of films, is this year’s mini obsession, so along with the cake I have ben decorating I have also decided to make some dinosaur skeleton biscuits.
I don’t make biscuits or cookies very often, and when I do I tend to just whip up a batch of quick Raisin & Oat cookies, so I had to do a lot of reading to work out how to make these biscuits. To make biscuits that did not puff up or outwards, or lose their shape whilst baking, plus stay edible and not teeth-creakingly hard seemed to come down to omitting any kind of raining agents like baking powder, and replacing a quantity of the flour with cornflour to keep the biscuit shape precise.
I decorated the finished biscuits with a simple royal icing, as it is the icing I remember my nan using to decorate Christmas cakes (after a generous layer of marzipan), and remembered that it set hard (and quickly). As I wanted these biscuits to be stored within hours of making them I decided to stick with a simple, white royal icing, beaten until it would hold a small soft peak, and a chocolate biscuit, to offset the white icing and to make use of the top of Bournville unsweetened Cocoa I bought whilst visiting the old Cadbury factory site.
Chocolate Cut Out Biscuits
A simple recipe for a chocolate biscuit that holds the cut out shape when baked.
- 220 g Plain white flour
- 30 g Cornflour
- 45 g Cocoa Powder unsweetened
- 140 g Sugar
- 110 g Butter unsalted
- 1 Egg large
- 1 tbsp Sunflower oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla paste
- ½ tsp Salt
Place sugar, butter, oil, egg and vanilla into mixer bowl and mix on slow until smooth.
Sift flour, cornflour and cocoa into a second bowl.
Add salt to dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.
Add dry ingredient mixture to the stand mixer bowl and mix again om slow until a dough is formed.
Wrap in clingfilm and place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes, whilst preheating the oven to 190℃.
Roll dough to a thickness of 7-8mm, cut shapes and lay them in lines baking trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool biscuits on the tray until firm, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Wait until completely cook before decorating.
The quick setting Royal icing I used for the decoration is apparently not the easiest to handle, and there are many more modern alternatives for cookie baking purposes. If I make these again I may look into them, but I though that the Royal Icing worked just fine.
- 1 Egg white Or use reconstituted dry egg white powder
- 200 g Icing Sugar
- ½ tsp Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Glycerine
Using a whisk in a stand mixer, beat egg whites until lightly expanded.
Add Icing sugar a little at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed, until all is incorporated.
Add glycerine and lemon juice and continue to mix until thickened tot he consistency you want to work with, and white and shiny.
I piped these using a simple piping bag with the tip cut off, but next time I would try with a very fine nozzle as the very tiny aperture wasn’t round due to the seam on the bag, so had a mind of its own.