Total time:Plus chilling
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
These iced sweetheart biscuits look so pretty and would make the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. You could even personalise them and pipe your loved one's initial in the centre. Ideally make and ice the biscuits the day before you want to give them, as this will give the icing plenty of time to set but make sure the biscuits are still fresh. Royal icing sugar is a mix of icing sugar and dried egg white and saves you having to use fresh egg white. Just add water to make a smooth icing following the instructions and quantities on the packet for a perfect finish every time.
- 1 lemon
- 100g butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 175g plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 250g Royal icing sugar
- Red Paste food colourings
If you want the icing to set really hard, ice the biscuits then return to the oven set at 70C/ 50C Fan/ Gas Mark 1/2 for 20 mins to dry out.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/ Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
- Grate the lemon zest and squeeze 1 tbsp lemon juice.
- Place the lemon zest, butter, sugar and flour in a food processor and blend until it makes fine crumbs (or rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips to make fine crumbs), add the egg yolk and lemon juice and blend (or mix) again for a few seconds until it forms a stiff dough. Gather the mixture into a ball and chill for 20 mins.
- Roll the dough on a work surface lightly dusted with flour, to a thickness of a pound coin. Cut out heart shapes with a biscuit cutter and place on the baking trays. Use the end of a drinking straw to make a hole in the centre of each heart.
- Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes until just golden at the edges. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the baking tray, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make up the royal icing as directed on the pack. Place about 4 tbsp in a piping bag with a small plain writing nozzle (keep the remaining icing in a bowl covered with cling film) and pipe a fine border around each biscuit.
- Mix red colouring into the remaining icing then add just enough water to make the icing a very thick but pourable consistency. Using a teaspoon pour a little icing into the centre of each biscuit then using a cocktail stick, ease the icing until it coats the biscuits and fills the outline well. Leave to dry for 24 hours in a warm dry place before storing in a cake tin. Thread with ribbon just before serving .