Arts & Crafts Magazine

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Polar Bear Biscuits

By Lakota @FHCShopping
My parents just came back from their holidays - a ferry round Norway and up to the Arctic circle, where they were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. Now I'm very jealous of this experience, but was slightly mollified to be given this polar bear cookie cutter on their return. I didn't exactly set out to collect cookie cutters - I just began buying them in shapes I knew my boys would enjoy, but then I started to get lucky about finding them in charity shops [remember the giant crab?] and have fully embraced it.They're very satisfying to collect - cheap, cute, come in many many different shapes and sizes and of course give you the perfect excuse to make and eat biscuits. I like the metal ones best, but why not raid the kids' play-doh cutters if they have some good shapes? Domestic Goddess and general smut-miester Nigella Lawson has a collection too, and whilst it is way larger than mine - the list she proudly gives in her book Feast does not include a polar bear. [Or a squirrel. Ha! Take that Nigella]
Ta-dah! Tuesday - Polar Bear Biscuits
Anyway, you may remember that I mentioned wanting to learn to make proper iced biscuits - made famous by the company Biscuiteers, stocked in Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason and wildly expensive to buy ready made. Well, given that polar bears are white and that would mean no messing about with food colourings, I figured this cutter would give me the perfect excuse to practice. And who doesn't love polar bears?
[Now imagine if you will a period of time not unlike another ice-age. Glaciers slowly carving out new valleys. Civilisations rising and falling etc etc]
Ahem. Some hours later - and with copious amounts of royal icing now welded to our slate kitchen tiles - I had finally managed to knock up a fairly respectable batch of polar bears. Some of them may look a little more sheeplike than the mighty hunter of the frozen North technically should, but I didn't think it was bad for a first attempt. I also now have a new appreciation for why the damn things are so expensive, given how long I was wrestling with an icing bag. [The cookies themselves take no time, and you could of course just slosh some regular glacé icing on and be done in minutes]
Ta-dah! Tuesday - Polar Bear BiscuitsTa-dah!
I used Nigella's recipe for cut-out cookies, which I will reproduce here, as I believe it's all over the web anyway. I used royal icing sugar for the icing, which means you don't have to mess about beating egg whites and so on.
Polar Bear Biscuits
90g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 egg (Nigella says large but I used medium and it was fine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cream the butter and sugar together til moussey looking (use a mixer, I do), then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat together. 
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in another bowl, then add to the mixture until combined. 
  • Squish the dough together into a fat disc, wrap in cling-film and allow to rest in the fridge for an hour.  
  • Roll out to about 0.5cm thick on a floured surface and cut out your polar bears.
  • Arrange on baking trays lined with greaseproof. They keep their shape well - important for this kind of biscuit - so you can put them fairly close together as long as they're not touching.
  • Cook in pre-heated 180c oven for around 10-12mins until they are just beginning to go golden around the edges.
  • Cool on wire racks.
When they're cool, you need to make a piping consistency royal icing to outline the bears with, and let this dry for 10 minutes or so before 'flooding' with runnier royal icing. I'm not sure I got the consistency quite right and had to push a lot of it around with the end of a spoon to fill in the gaps. Oh well, Valentine's day coming up - more practice required! 
What have you been up to?
Lakota x
ps. Don't forget the giveaway here

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