Iced gem biscuits are a childhood favourite and now you can make your own! This simple recipe is perfect for young helpers to get involved in the entire process. They can roll and cut out the biscuit dough, transform the icing into pretty colours and practise their piping skills. These homemade iced gem biscuits are such fun for a child’s party or for a cheerful homemade treat.
- 35g unsalted butter, softened
- 15g caster sugar
- 50g plain flour
- 150g royal icing sugar
- 25-30ml water
- your choice of food colouring gels
First of all, line a baking tray with a piece of baking paper. Place to one side.
Place the softened butter and caster sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl. You can either use an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon to cream the two ingredients together. If you are using a wooden spoon, make sure the butter is super soft to make it easier for your child to mix.
Weigh the flour into the creamed butter and sugar and stir to combine. The mixture may look dry and crumbly at first. Use your hands to bring the mixture together and form it into a ball.
To avoid a mess, roll out the dough between two pieces of cling film. This means that you will not need to flour the worktop or add unnecessary flour to the dough as you roll it out.
Your little helper can now roll the dough to around the thickness of a pound coin. Use either a cake corer or the round end of a piping nozzle to cut out the small circles. A cake corer is ideal for the job as the plunger makes it easy to push out the dough. If using a piping nozzle, you may need to use a cocktail stick to carefully extract the dough from the nozzle.
Place the circles of dough onto the lined baking tray and place into the fridge to chill for around 30 minutes. This will help to stop the dough spreading or losing its shape in the oven later on.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Take the tray of dough from the fridge and place the tray straight into the preheated oven. Cook the biscuits for 8-10 minutes. They should stay a pale colour, so keep a keen eye on them! Once the tiny biscuits are cooked, place onto a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the royal icing for the pretty finishing touch. Place the royal icing sugar into a mixing bowl; there’s no need to sieve, hurrah! Carefully measure the water and pour into the bowl.
Start to whisk the royal icing sugar and water together with an electric whisk, on low speed. Slowly increase the speed once the water has been incorporated into the icing sugar. Keep whisking for around 3 minutes, until the mixture starts to form stiff peaks. It will need to hold its shape when piped.
Separate the royal icing between little bowls. How many bowls depends on how many colours you use. Your child can stir the gel food colouring into the icing. You only need a little to make a bold colour.
As you will only have a small amount of icing for each colour, you can use small piping bags or sandwich bags, fitted with a small flower nozzle.
Simply squeeze a little icing onto each biscuit in a mixture of colours, otherwise keep things simple and use just one colour. Leave the royal icing to set for a few hours before tucking in. The biscuits will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.
Anneliese used yellow and pink food colouring to make her iced gems but you can use whatever colours take your fancy!