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06/12/2013

Biscuit design


The idea here is to put together a "collection". Here are useful pointers I found in books, blogs and (very limited) experience.

1. First, the theme. That's not too difficult: Christmas, animals, transports, etc, you get the idea.
2. Next, work out which cutters and/or templates you're going to use. If you need to make a lot, for staff rooms/clubs/large families, you need to think about the sizes (smaller biscuits = more biscuits per batch). I'd like to have one or two bigger ones: the "showstoppers" (hopefully!) and a few smaller ones that would be quicker to decorate but also bulk out the numbers. I've noticed that gingerbread dough is more sticky and tends to spread a bit more so I'd use simple shapes.
3. Now it's time to get drawing pad, colouring pencils and felt tip pens! If you're arty, you'll find this bit easy, if not (like me), it's going to take a while... but I'll get there! 

- Try to limit the number of colours: you're going to have to mix all that icing, colour it and put it into piping bags! Plus it will give a more cohesive look.
- Decide whether you're going to ice the whole biscuit or just pipe over a "naked" biscuit. I'm planning to ice the vanilla biscuits but only pipe patterns on the gingerbread.
- Be objective about your artistic skills: I know I can't really draw and have issues with symetry, spacings and consistency so I'm hardly going to manage a winter wonderland biscuit or one of those beautiful lace biscuits! Nevermind, I'll work out something I can do reasonably well and keep practising (maybe, one day...).
- A lot of small biscuits with a lot of details = a LOT of work. Don't get carried away with your pens! (ask me how I know :p )


Other tips about cutters etc:
- If you have a lot of metal cutters, store them in layers in boxes. They could bend and break otherwise.
- To avoid risks of rusting, wash your metal cutters straight away and dry them off very well (ideally also put them in the oven while it's cooling) 
- You don't need to buy all the cutters in the world. Make templates out of acetate or cardboard. Also think outside the box: basic circles, rectangles or squares can be used for anything.
- You can combine several cutters or parts of cutters: just place the pieces of dough right next to each other and they will stick when they bake to form one biscuit. Any visible mark at the seams will be hidden with the icing. (I've seen this in several blogs and videos. Genius!)

If you've got tips or want to share your designs with us feel free to leave a comment or post a picture on the Facebook group.  

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