Saturday, 24 December 2011

How to Make: Festive Biscuit Christmas Wreath

If you have a little spare time around Christmas, and like to give gifts that have the personal touch- or decorate your home your own way, give these super cute, super simple edible wreaths a go...

Simply make a biscuit mix (I've included a Nigella Christmas biscuit recipe below, but the possibilities are endless- I would definitely keep them seasonal though; even if you just add a little mixed spice, or use a ginger bread recipe.) and chill for half an hour or so before using.

Roll out, and using a cutter, stamp out the biscuit shapes. I used stars, but you could use a reindeer, holly, hearts... Be creative! I do like the pattern created by using a star, and it makes it nice and easy to decorate.

All you have to do is arrange the biscuits on a baking tray, overlapping very slightly- remember the biscuits will spread- though you will want it sturdy enough to hold together as these biscuits can be infuriatingly fragile. For this reason I recommend making plenty, as some as likely to break. I made lots of dough and froze any extra I had for another day- or to quickly whip up for any unexpected guests!

Bake the biscuits on a low heat. I tend to ignore the time given by recipes and almost always stick to under ten minutes. Remember to consider the thickness you cut them to. They really do take no time at all. The dough should be slightly golden and look cooked, but still be soft. They will harden once they have cooled! I like my biscuits to have a slightly chewy, soft centre.

Whilst the biscuits are still cool, use a skewer to pierce a hole (gently!) into the top of each biscuit, so thread can be run through it. Now your biscuit becomes a decoration, and can be hung on doors or trees, or even attached to presents!

Your wreaths will be all ready to decorate now. Leave them to cool completely, then mix up some royal icing with icing sugar, lemon juice and egg white. Using a piping bag and a small nozzle, pipe onto the biscuits. Use the spares to experiment- I like dotty biscuits, using the royal icing to adhere silver edible balls. They look so festive! I also experimented with edible glitter. The sparkliness looked really beautiful reflected against the baubles when I hung it on my Christmas tree.
There are plenty of design possibilities, play around and try them out!

I used a Nigella Lawson recipe- I recommend adding slightly more Cinnamon, just to give it a bit more of a Christmas-y taste.

  • 100 g unsalted butter softened
  • 100 grams soft dark sugar
  • 300 grams plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons clear honey

Place the butter and sugar in a clean bowl and mix together vigorously with a wooden spoon until the color and texture of the mixture becomes pale. Place the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and add the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and freshly ground black pepper. Blend the mixture. While the food processor is blending, gradually pour the eggs and honey down the funnel of the food processor's lid into the bowl until a dough has formed (you may not require all of the liquid if the dough has come together before it is used up). If the dough is too dry add a little water to the mixture. If the dough is too wet add a little flour.

Why not try...

Using a large star cutter, and piping people's names onto each biscuit. Thread a ribbon through the biscuit, and use to attach to gifts, or as place settings on the Christmas table.

* Wrapping in cellophane gift bags and tying with a silver or blue ribbon to present as a beautiful hand made gift

* Using different coloured icing to match the lights on your tree, or the decorations in your home.


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