In case you have missed the endless adverts on TV or massive displays blockading the entrances to every supermarket, today is Father’s Day.
I always find it difficult to buy presents for men in general but even more so on Father’s Day as everything seems to be golf or beer related. My Dad quite likes golf but doesn’t play it and isn’t particularly fond of beer so it makes it tough to find something special for Father’s Day and Father’s Day is all about showing your Dad how special he is.
The good thing about these biscuits is that there are lots of different things you can do with them to make them more personal for your Dad. With these, I simply drew a template on to paper and traced this on to greaseproof paper rather than using a cookie cutter so the options are endless. I made a mix of shirts and round empire biscuits so that I could write a message. I also made some love hearts with the spare cuts of dough just to suck up even more! No one can deny that they make a fun and colourful display though. Most importantly they taste delicious but if your Dad is anything like mine, he would love them no matter what.
I can’t write this post without a note about my Dad. He does everything and anything for us and never asks for a single thing for himself. He works incredibly hard to make sure my Mum, my sister and I are treated like queens so he definitely deserves to be spoiled on Father’s Day. He is without a doubt the best!
One last thing, there is a flipgram below which will hopefully show you the various steps along the way.
FATHER’S DAY EMPIRE BISCUITS
Ingredients (you will need double the mixture to make the full set in the top picture):
225g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
50g caster sugar
Strawberry or raspberry jam
50g icing sugar
White and coloured ready to roll icing
Coloured writer icing pens
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl and then rub in the butter. At first this will create crumbs but keep with it and the dough will eventually come together in a ball. Cover the dough in a piece of cling film and refrigerate for anything from 20 minutes up to 48 hours (remember to turn the oven off if not baking straight away).
- Roll the dough out using some flour to stop it sticking. This mixture is quite crumbly. That’s what makes the biscuits so delicious but not so easy to work with. Just take your time rolling it out and do it in smaller batches as the dough does have a tendency to break and crack. You can choose whichever thickness you like. I tend to make them as thick as a £1 coin. Trace the template on to greaseproof paper. Cut around the template and then place it on top of the rolled out dough. Using a knife trace around the template cutting through the dough. Carefully remove the cut out dough and place it on a baking tray. Repeat until you have as many as you want. Remember you will need a pair to make one biscuit.
- Bake for 10 minutes. These are shortbread biscuits so you want them to be soft and crumbly. They should just be slightly golden around the edges so don’t be alarmed if they look pale in the centre. Leave to cool.
- Match up pairs of biscuits. Sandwich together by spreading a teaspoon of jam on one biscuit and sticking the other on top. Make sure to spread the jam right to the edges.
- Roll out the white icing thinly using a dusting of icing sugar on the work surface to stop the ready roll icing sticking. Using the template you used earlier, cut about 1 – 2mm off the edge of the template as you want the biscuit to be popping through behind the icing. Repeat the same process as with the biscuits to cut out the icing. Using your finger and a little water, lightly wet the back of the icing cut out and then place on top of the biscuit, wet side down. The water acts as a glue. Alternatively, you can mix icing sugar with a little water to create to create a thick icing and then pipe this on to the biscuit. If you do this, you will need to leave the icing to dry before adding the ties.
- Take a small amount of coloured icing and roll into a sausage shape. Flatten out. The long edges should be straight. Pinch the bottom of the icing to create a point. At the top, pinch the icing in slightly but leave a small straight edge so that you can create the knot of the tie. Again using a little water on the underside, stick the tie on to the white icing, leaving a small space at the top of the shirt for the knot. Take a small ball of icing and shape this into a rounded square. With a little water, stick this on to the biscuit just above the tie. The flipgram should help make this a little clearer! Using the writer icing pens, you can make any designs you want on the ties.
- For the bow ties, simply make two small triangles and one small ball using black ready to roll icing. Stick each triangle on to the shirt on its side and place the ball in the middle.
- Mix together the icing sugar with a tiny bit of water. You want the icing to be really thick so that you can pipe it on to create the collar, pockets and buttons. For the collar, just draw a tick shape at either side of the tie. For the pocket, pipe a small square to the right of the tie. Then make an upside down triangle using the top of the square as the base of the triangle. For the buttons, draw two lines of icing from the edge of the tie to the bottom of the shirt. Pipe 2 -3 dots of icing (more if you are doing the bow ties) to make the buttons. Leave to dry.
Et voila! The perfect Father’s Day centrepiece.
These take a bit of time and effort to make but Dads deserve that! Happy Father’s Day!