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The un-iced biscuits can be made up to two days before icing; iced biscuits will keep for 3-4 days in a cool, dry place.
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Put butter, sugar and essence in a food processor, process for 1 minute, add egg and flour and process in short bursts until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently; wrap in baking paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Using a 6cm-diameter fluted cutter and a 6cm crescent cutter, cut out rounds and half-moon shapes. Also roll balls of dough about the size of a large pea.
3. Arrange rounds on prepared tray, brush top edges with a little water, sit crescents on top, brush crescent ends with a little water and sit balls on the ends. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Sit tray on a wire rack until biscuits are cold.
4. To decorate, colour one-third of the royal icing red and thin down to a cream-like consistency with a little water. Spoon red icing onto Santa’s hat and leave to dry for 30 minutes. Spoon white icing onto Santa’s face to make his beard, around the edge of his hat and a little on top of the ball at the end. Dab a little royal icing on 1 side of 2 lollies and set onto the face for eyes. Repeat with another lolly for Santa’s nose. Leave in a cool, dry place for 2-3 hours.You might also like how to make Christmas cake pops