Baked with Love: Ladybug biscuits

20:30:00

I am terrible at public displays of affection or friendship. Birthday Facebook posts just plain scare me! I am also the absolute worst at buying birthday presents. I might have known the person for years but I will still have zero clues on what to give you.

Since I started weekly baking for my blog I seem to have an excess of sweet treats and often no one to share them with. Not that that is a bad thing! Just that often I will be baking a new thing with heaps of last weeks baking left over.
So I have devised a little baking project which help lessen the amount of baking sitting around at home and also will provide new ideas to bake and share.
I'm going to call it the "Baked with Love" project (corny right?).
The plan is, each birthday that comes along I'm going to deliver them a treat. My way of saying "I'm thinking of you" and "I still do care".

The first birthday/thinking of you (which actually passed just over a week ago) is a special one. There has been a little running joke to go with this particular birthday and so I decided to stick with something similarly appropriate –Kid friendly ladybugs!

The trick behind many of these project bakes will be their ability to transport well. Things with lush icing or crumbly bases or things that need refrigeration will always be no-goes.

Biscuits are always nice to give as little gifts and these are very cute. Their red shell like coating over an almost gooey cookie with a little hint of chocolate is simply delightful.
Surprisingly, they are quite easy to put together and look quite clever, however due to their higher oil content (opposed to butter) they require around 2 hours in the fridge before you roll them out or shape them and in the heat even after baking can go very soft.
I think if I did this recipe again I would modify the recipe slightly so that there is less oil and more butter which would cut the wait time required.

Anyway! Back to the baking!

What you’ll need;
125g butter
½ cup oil 
115g caster sugar
60g icing sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
350g plain flour
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
Red food colouring
And for decoration;
About 1/3 cup milk choc chips
Icing pens or melted chocolate and a piping bag with a very fine nozzle

In a large bowl, beat butter, oil and sugars (both caster and icing) until blended together. Beat in one of the eggs and vanilla. Add flour, cream of tartar and bicarb soda and mix very well to ensure all combined.
Cover and refrigerate for around two hours or until easy to handle (so firm but not hard). 

Now is probably the right time to preheat your oven to 190° and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

The recipe can be rolled out and cut with a round biscuit cutter but I preferred to roll them in balls and into little mounds that almost resembled beetles.
Place them about 3cm apart on the tray.
When you've done a whole tray, get a small bowl, beat together egg and red food colouring. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg mixture over the biscuits. 
Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden.

While still hot on tray, carefully push chocolate chips into the top of the biscuits to resemble a ladybugs spots. Remove from tray afterwards a place on wire rack to continue cooling.
When cooled draw with chocolate icing the other details.
Aren't they cute?
Ready to be sent off!

I hope you give them a try!

Happy Baking!

xx

Caitlin

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