A simple cut-out biscuit recipe is a really useful thing to master. This one is just plain (but scrumptiously buttery) although you can flavour the dough with citrus, spices, tea, herbs… all manner of things really.
A recipe that doesn’t spread as it bakes is also essential, no-one wants the cute little cookie cut-outs that they’ve lovingly prepared to come out of the oven looking like they’ve been mutilated.
Icing them is obviously optional but it does make them look all sorts of fancy. I don’t have any food colourings in my cupboards so I used some hibiscus tea in my pink icing. The colour is pretty incredible, don’t you think? It also makes the icing taste really tangy.
makes 15-20 (depending on how big your cutter is)
250g plain flour
3 tbsp (approx) milk
Cream together the butter and sugar and then beat in the flour. This should leave you with a mixture that looks like bread crumbs. Use just enough of the milk to bring the mixture together to form a soft ball of dough.
Wrap the dough in cling-film and pop it in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°c and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Roll out the rested dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 4-5mm thick. Stamp out your biscuits with a cutter and place them on the prepared trays, spacing them a little apart. Re-roll the dough as necessary but try not to over-work it.
Bake the biscuits for 15-17 minutes, until they are just starting to colour a little around the edges. Leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating.