Ballet shoe biscuits
Ballet shoe biscuitsSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Inspired by The Nutcracker ballet, our delicate ballet shoe biscuits make an irresistibly stylish party biscuit for the Christmas season
- 275g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 200g soft salted butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 orange, grated zest
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 400g royal icing sugar
- 1 x tube pink food colouring
- 1 x tube blue food colouring
The uniced biscuits can be frozen. Once iced, the biscuits keep for up to 2 weeks in a cake tin.
You will need an oval cutter about 8cm x 5cm, or make an oval/ballet shoe template from cardboard.
Put the flour, butter, icing sugar, orange zest and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until it becomes crumbs. Add the egg yolks, blend until the mixture forms clumps, then squeeze the mixture together until it binds to a dough. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes to firm up. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until about 4-5mm thick. Using the cutter or template, cut out 26-30 biscuits, re-rolling as necessary. Make a hole at the top of each one with a skewer (to thread ribbon through later).
Arrange the biscuits on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes until just turning golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then carefully mark the holes again and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To decorate, make up the royal icing sugar with 4 -5 tablespoons of cold water. Divide between 2 bowls and tint one with pink and the other with blue colouring to your desired shades. Put 2 tablespoons of each into separate disposable piping bags fitted with fine plain-writing nozzles, or cut a fine hole in the bag (but this will not give such a neat effect). Cover the bowls of remaining icing tightly with clingfilm.
Pipe a ballet shoe outline on each biscuit, half in pink and half in blue. Wrap the piping bags in clingfilm to prevent the icing drying out, and set aside for later.
Mix the remaining icing with enough water to give a thick pouring consistency. Use a small spoon to pour the icing into the outline, using a cocktail stick to guide it, and to prick any bubbles.
These biscuits are easily customised with different flavourings. Try lemon zest and ½ tsp ground ginger, or add a few drops of almond or vanilla extract instead of the orange and cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 110°C, fan 90°C, gas ¼. Put the biscuits in the oven, turn off the heat and leave the biscuits inside for 1 hour. The icing will dry out as the oven cools. Pierce the holes in the biscuits from the front to the back, and thread the ribbons through. Pipe a bow on each shoe with the icing in the piping bags.