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Fruity Iced Biscuits

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Since my take on Zoo Biscuits – that childhood classic that only born and bred South Africans seem to get – first made its début on JAN Season 2, I’ve  had so many people asking me for the recipe. Well, it’s changed a bit since then with a deliciously fruity twist, but the basic idea has stayed the same. And when garnished with delicate, edible flowers, I suppose they’re more flora, less fauna than the original. But their inspiration is undeniable.

FRUITY ICED BISCUITS

TIME: 2 hours | MAKES: about 40 biscuits

INGREDIENTS

for the biscuits

560 g (1000 ml) cake flour

5 ml baking powder

2 ml salt

340 g (370 ml) unsalted butter, at room temperature

300 g (360 ml) castor sugar

2 eggs

15 ml vanilla paste

 

for the fruity flavours

8 g freeze dried strawberry, finely ground

5 g freeze dried blueberries, finely ground

15 g freeze dried coconut, finely ground

5 g freeze dried apple, finely ground

 

for the royal icing

2 egg whites

450 g – 500 g (865 ml – 960 ml ) icing sugar, sifted

food gel colouring

edible flowers

METHOD

for the biscuits

Sieve the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl fitted with a flat beater, then add the butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one and beat well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough in four and add a fruit flavour to each piece of dough. Mix well and wrap each piece of dough in biodegradable cling wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 190 °C. Roll each piece of dough between pieces of baking paper. The dough should be about 2 mm thin. Using a 5 x 5 cm cookie cutter, cut out the squares. Place the biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out and let the biscuits cool on the tray.

for the royal icing

Place the egg whites in a bowl. Whisk with a balloon whisk until just frothy. Start adding the icing sugar and mix well after each addition. Add until a nice piping consistency. Divide the icing sugar into 4 bowls. Add food colouring to four of the bowls. Green for apple, pink for strawberry and purple for blueberry. Spoon the icing sugars into separate piping bags fitted with a very small nozzle tip. Pipe an outline onto each biscuit and let it dry. Fill the inside of each square with icing and let it dry. Once dry, pipe a little dot in the centre of each biscuit and place an edible flower on top.

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