I spent hours scrubbing my house on Thursday. Hours! Then Friday morning the kids asked if we could do some baking and I was so pleased with my nice clean house that, dolt that I am, I said yes. A short time later we had flour and sugar everywhere. And that was well before we got to the icing. I'm still scraping that up off the bench.
But they had fun which was, after all, the whole point of the exercise. These little cut-out cookies were simple and easy. I was worried they wouldn't roll out very well because despite the amount of time the dough was in the fridge it stayed fairly soft but, so long as it wasn't rolled out too thinly it was fine. If you do make them be sure to keep an eye on them - they go from not-quite-cooked to blackened-and-smoking in the blink of an eye.
We used a variety of sprinkles to top the icing. I pretty much gave the kids free slather over whatever I had open.
from Australian Table, April 2008
125g margarine, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/12 cups plain flour, sifted
3/4 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup hot water
assorted sprinkles, to decorate
1. Using an electric mixer, beat margarine and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add egg and beat well. Add flour and, using hands, press mixture together to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
3. Roll dough between two sheets of baking paper to a 5 mm thickness. Cut into shapes using a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on prepared tray. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
4. Mix together icing sugar and hot water until smooth. Add a few drops of food colouring and stir until well combined. Dip one side of each biscuit into icing, holding over bowl to allow excess icing to drip off. Decorate with sprinkles.