Icing Biscuits with Kids!
I love baking, I LOVE icing biscuits and I adore a super cute iced biscuit made by the kids!
Until very recently my icing attempts were a disaster. Nothing stayed in place, the icing dribbled, the colours were insipid. So I went on a mission to find out how to do it properly. This simple recipe and handy techniques are so easy to follow and work (almost) every time! And when they don’t the kids will never notice or you get to eat one! Win Win!
If you are looking for a foolproof recipe – try this one!
Kids love the creativity of this process so get them involved too!
The recipe itself couldn’t be more basic.
- 75 ml cold water
- 450 g icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
- To Make the Icing
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or freestanding mixer
- Put the liquid in FIRST
It’s all about the consistency
Add the icing sugar and mix for around 5-10 minutes (yes really that long, it does make a difference). Make sure to start your mixer on a low speed to avoid coating every surface in your kitchen in clouds of sugar.
You want to keep mixing until the icing is a brilliant white colour and has a thick gooey consistency, a bit like toothpaste! Mine had always been way to runny, hence the dribbly look! Not good. You will no doubt find that you need to add a little more sugar or a touch more water to get the consistency just right. For some reason, no two batches are ever the same!
Colouring the Icing
There are a range of colours available on the market. I have had best results with powdered colouring. They don’t affect the consistency of the mixture and the colours are really vibrant.
Icing works best if used quickly, but if you want to set some aside for a later batch of biscuits, just pop some cling film over the bowl and set aside.
To Ice the Biscuits – Outlines and Details
It is often hard to resist the temptation to ice the biscuits as soon as they start to cool. Patience is indeed a virtue here. You MUST wait until they are completely cold.
We use standard issue plastic piping bags. Just use a pair of sharp scissors to snip away a tiny part of the end of the bag. Hold the bag firmly in one hand and gently squeeze the bag with the other. Try to keep your hand moving across the biscuit in a smooth flow as you ice.
Outline shapes and add small details with the ‘toothpaste consistency’ mixture.
Filling in Outlines and Icing Large Areas
To fill in large shapes, add a small amount more water to the mix until the icing is more fluid (this icing is known as ‘flood’ icing’). If you run a spoon through the mix it should settle again to a flat surface within around 3-5 seconds. Again, spoon the mix into the piping bag – this time just snip away a tiny bit more of the bag to make a bigger hole to pipe through. You may find that you need to encourage the icing to fill the outline by pushing it gently with a spoon handle, coffee stirrer or similar.
Some kids find it easier to use an icing bottle to squeeze out the icing onto their biscuits. It is worth a try if you children are finding it hard to manipulate the icing bags. Personally I find the bottles really hard to use!
Giving the biscuits as gifts?
If you really want to ‘go pro’ or are giving the biscuits as a gift, I recommend returning the biscuits to the oven on its lowest heat for around half an hour. This helps to harden the icing and stop it from smudging (like the elephants did in our featured photo!). In our house they never make it to this perfecting second bake – biscuits are briefly admired then devoured!
Let the kids go to town and go wild with your own imagination.
Kids love icing biscuits. The results will surprise you and often the kids do better than the grown ups!
Try to let go of your inner control freak and clear up later.