Makes about 60
160 g icing sugar
300 g unsalted butter at room temperature
400 g plain flour
2 tsp vanilla essence
100 g granulated sugar
1 drop of red food colouring
alternatively ready coloured pink granulated sugar
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then cut up the butter into chunks and work together to a smooth paste.
- Sift in the flour and work into a dough. Add the vanilla essence at the end, but make sure to get it well mixed in.
- Wrap tightly in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 h to firm up.
- If you can't find ready made pink granulated sugar, make it by spreading the food colouring on your fingers and mixing the granulated sugar. Gloves would be good here. Spread the pink sugar on a piece of baking paper.
- Take out of the fridge and shape the dough into sausages of about 3.5 cm diameter.
- Roll the sausages in the pink sugar, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up again.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190 °C. and line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.
- Cut each sausage into biscuits, about 1 cm thick, then place on the baking sheets, with some space inbetween.
- Bake the biscuits one sheet at a time for about 10 - 12 minutes, until they start getting colour, but not so that the pink sugar starts to go yellow.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool a bit on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack
I was very pleased with the way these looked, but when Lundulph and I tried one, it tasted very much like flour. Something I really should be able to work out by reading the recipe by now. A bit more sugar is required and I've adjusted in the ingredients list above. Also the instruction said to cut out pieces of 12 g each. Now this is quite hard to do when you don't have the option to re-do a biscuit if it's not the right size. So I ended up with 57 biscuits this time. I didn't measure the diameter either, I suspect it was more than 3.5 cm. So a bit smaller next time.
I wasn't sure about colouring the granulated sugar, but was lucky to find ready made pink coloured granulated sugar already and used up the whole of one 75 g jar. When I did an image search on Google, other people have used green or blue granulated sugar, but it seems pink is the traditional colour.
The biscuits are quite brittle when they are freshly made, so handle carefully.
On the whole my colleagues seemed to like them, because they disappeared well before lunchtime and some people took seconds and thirds. I should have made a double batch. But they definitely need to be sweeter next time. Lundulph suggested I put some icing on top, but that would have ruined the look.