Saturday, November 14, 2009

Going dotty

Certain things are guaranteed to always catch the eye of children, particularly if it involves lollies or bright colours. Smartie-studded biscuits, cute little iced gingerbread men and sugary honey-joys are a magnet for my son Daniel's eyes.

I believe that moderation is the key to eating well and I have no problem with the occasional treat of a cake or biscuit. However, I very rarely buy them. Sometimes it's because the promise never seems to live up to the taste (many cafe cakes are disappointingly dry) but it's mostly because I prefer home-made because I know exactly what is going into it and there's no hidden preservatives or additives.

So these sweet little vanilla-scented buttery biscuits are perfect. Budding little cooks will enjoy helping mix up the dough and will most of all love to decorate the biscuit with brightly coloured smarties. Quick to mix, quick to cook, a creative outlet in designing patterns on the biscuits ... this is a lovely little project that has kept Daniel amused many times. Best of all, these are certainly a lot cheaper to make than the cafe versions, which often sell for $2.50 each.

Dotty biscuits

125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g plain flour
125g SR flour
1 cup (250g) smarties

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cream butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix in.

Sift the flours together and fold into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper, cover with another sheet and roll out to about 5mm thick. Cut out circles with a biscuit cutter (I used a 6cm diameter), place on the lined baking tray and press smarties into the biscuits.

Bake in the oven in batches for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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