I am obsessed by anything tropical. I’ve got flamingo wallpaper in my flat, pineapple ornaments, and clothes covered in both. So obviously it made sense to me to put my favourite things into biscuit form. I was lucky enough to be given a pineapple shaped cookie cutter and found a flamingo one in a baking shop, but if you don’t have any then Amazon will sort you out so you can also experience some edible tropical joy!
For around 20 large biscuits you’ll need:
- 250g soft butter
- 250g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 500g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 175 C. Cream together the butter, sugar and salt until smooth and light. Slowly add the beaten egg while whisking and keep mixing. Sift in the flour and mix until just incorporated. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it a little, then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Lightly flour a flat surface and briefly knead the dough before rolling out until it’s about 3 or 4 mm thick. Something I’ve learned recently is that when making cookies, if you can keep them really chilled, they will hold their shape much better which is important if you are using a fiddly cutter shaped like a flamingo. So if you have time, pop the rolled out dough on a baking tray and stick it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. If you can’t be bothered then just skip this step and start cutting out your cookies.
These won’t spread much so you don’t need to place them too far apart on the baking tray. I do really recommend that once you’ve got them lined up on the tray you pop them back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. It will ensure they keep their shape.
Once your cookies are nice and chilled, bake them for about 6-8 minutes until they start to turn golden at the edges, then let them rest and cool.
Now we can make the icing! This was the first time I made royal icing so there was alot of trial and error but I hope you find my tips useful.The great thing about it is that once it dries, it doesn’t budge so it really holds its shape. You’ll need:
- 400g icing sugar
- 15g powdered egg white (I used 3 sachets from the supermarket)
- 4 tablespoons water
- gel food colouring
- food flavouring
- piping bags and tips
Put the icing sugar, egg white and water in a bowl and mix with a freestanding mixer or hand held whisk for about ten minutes until fluffy. Royal icing dries really quickly so if you’re using a few different colours then divide it into a couple of bowls and cover with clingfilm until you’re ready to use them.
Let’s start with with pineapple cookies. I couldn’t get a hold of pineapple flavouring so I decided to use some coconut favouring instead which made it really tropical. I added some drops of that until I was happy with the taste, and a few drops of yellow food colour until it was a nice bright shade. Now we just need to get the consistency right! Add water teaspoon by teaspoon, until you get a smooth icing that isn’t too runny, and holds a line that you draw in it with a knife for 10 seconds.
Put the icing into a piping bag with a small tip and pipe the outside of the pineapple, then fill in the middle. I found that the icing dried very quickly so I was able to pipe a lines on top of it afterwards.
For the pineapple leaves I added green colour and lime juice instead of coconut, and used a textured tip on the piping bag to get a different effect. For the flamingo cookies I used cherry flavouring and pink colouring.
It really is a case of trial and error to get the right consistency that looks good when you pipe it, but once you get the hang of it it isn’t scary at all. And in the end you’ll have some delicious biscuits with smooth light icing that brings loads of flavour. I hope you give them a try and love them as much as me! Let me know how you get on.