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Christmas is my favourite time of year, and biscuits are my favourite thing to make and decorate, so OF COURSE I was going to combine the two and bring you my top tips on how to decorate Christmas biscuits, as well as step by step instructions to make your very own reindeer Christmas biscuits! If you have little ones involved, why not get them involved, too? Christmas biscuits are great fun to make with toddlers, and they’ll really love seeing them come together from scratch.
First things first, before we can even think about decorating our Christmas biscuits, we need to bake them! My go to recipe is the BBC Good Food basic biscuit dough recipe: 250g butter and 140g caster sugar creamed together, mix in 1 egg yolk and a splash of vanilla extract and then gently stir in 300g of plain flour. I find this makes quite a wet dough and tend to add more flour, until its less sticky. It’s a very quick recipe that can be whipped up in less than five minutes – it’s the rolling and shaping that takes time! I roll the biscuit dough using a rolling pin, cut the shapes out and bake at 180°C for around 10 minutes. Watch the oven like a hawk with these biscuits – if you’ve rolled them out a little bit too thin, they may even burn in as little as 6-8 minutes.
For these reindeer Christmas biscuits, you’re going to need some gingerbread men cookie cutters, which are a great investment as they’re so versatile and can be used all year round – I even used them for my Halloween biscuits!. You can also get more themed Christmas biscuit cutters, which are great for snowmen or snowflake designs, or you could simply use a glass or mug to cut circles and then decorate your chosen design onto the plain circle biscuit.
If you’re looking for biscuits that taste a little bit more Christmassy, why not try adding 100g cranberries and the zest of 2 oranges to the above recipe? Cranberry and orange is such a refreshing flavour combination that always reminds me of Christmas. If this recipe isn’t your cup of tea, you can decorate any biscuit recipe of your choice! You could even opt for traditional gingerbread.
Whenever I decorate biscuits, I always opt for a simple icing sugar and water mix, however you can also use royal icing, buttercream or fondant icing – whatever you most prefer working with!
If you’d like to follow along with me to create these reindeer christmas biscuits, here’s how I prepare my icing:
To create the icing, mix icing sugar (also known as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar) and water into a thick icing. The thicker, the better, as it’ll be easier to pipe, so you may need to add more sugar or water to get to the perfect consistency.
To colour the icing, I use Sugarflair – a small amount goes a long way. I simply poke a cocktail stick into the paste, swirl this into my bowl of icing, mix with a spoon and voila! Vibrant coloured icing. To make the brown, I mixed red, blue and yellow Sugarflair together to get the wanted shade of brown.
The next step of icing Christmas biscuits is preparing the piping bags. I pour my icing into sandwich bags and then cut a very small amount off the corner, but you can also buy dedicated piping bags. Remember to wash and reuse the sandwich and piping bags afterwards to avoid single use of the plastic. To use your piping bags, simply twist the top of the sandwich bag whilst holding it in your palm, and gently squeeze the icing through the hole.
Here’s some easy step by step instructions on how to decorate Christmas biscuits, so you can follow along and decorate your own!
Follow the photos if you need visual guidance and voila! Your very own reindeer Christmas biscuits that children and adults alike will absolutely adore!
If you want to make your Christmas ahead of time, I would recommend freezing before you decorate them. You could either freeze the biscuit dough raw and uncooked or freeze the cooked biscuit. I would advise not to freeze the decorated biscuit – these are best enjoyed fresh.