When I was little I used to love Iced Gems, those sweet little round biscuit with a swirl of crunchy icing on top. Mmm, What’s not to love right? I haven’t seen them in the supermarket for years, I am sure they are still around somewhere!
First you need to whip up a batch of vanilla cookie dough. I used to make these cookies primarily for special occasions, but they have become such a nice treat for pretty much anytime, simply because they taste so good decorated or simply eaten plain. Crisp, sugary, and vanilla-y, which is just what a vanilla cookie should be. The dough is the perfect consistency for rolling and cutting; and the batch is a really workable size (24 cookies) Now remember iced gems are small so this recipe will make a lot of these little beauties!
350g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
125g granulated sugar
125g salted butter softened, diced
125g golden syrup
1 large egg lightly beaten
1tsp good quality vanilla extract
1. Sift the flours together into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and mix well.
2. Add the butter. Using just the tips of your fingers, rub the ingredients together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. When all the butter is evenly mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the syrup, vanilla and the egg.
4. Mix well, drawing in any of the flour left at the side of the bowl, and stop as soon as a ball has formed.
5. Shape in to the shape of your choice and bake until golden brown. Cooking times will be dependant of cookies size.
Stiff Peak royal icing
250g icing Sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and using an electric beater mix for about 6 minutes.
It will be really stiff, not at all sloppy and won't drop off a spoon.
You can now colour it as you wish.
Put into a piping bag, use a closed star nozzle and pipe onto each biscuit.
Leave for at least 2 hours for the icing to firm up. I tend to leave these overnight.