6 oz plain flour
4 oz margarine (I use Stork because it's 'perfect for baking' *g*)
2 oz sugar (if you want to be posh, it can be castor sugar)
Or as Wench put it - 6,4,2 alphabetically
sieve the flour to get rid of lumps
add the sugar
add the marg in little bits
mix with a wooden spoon and then get your hands in there. Knead, crumb, mix, combine, whatever it takes to get a biccit dough (seriously, the more you work it with your hands, the better the outcome - something that's true in more ways than one...).
Turn dough out onto a floured surface (layman's terms: throw a handful of flour across a clean surface and drop the mix onto it) and roll out till it's about... 50mm thick? (I dunno, it's plain flour, it doesn't rise so biccit thickness?) cut into shapes using whatever means you have on hand, and put onto a greased & floured baking tray (preparing the tray is still my favourite part of baking!) - Oh! If you don't have a rolling pin (which I don't cause my sister 'borrowed' mine) an empty wine bottle is perfect!
Oven should be normal temperature... Gas Mark 4, 180-190 degrees centrigrade
Put the biccits in near the top of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes (may be longer depending on variables)
When they're done they'll be slightly golden and a *little* bit springy. They should still be soft when they come out but if you can see your fingerprint on the top they aren't quite done. Once ready. take 'em out of the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack (it's what they're for after all!)
4oz icing sugar
a cup of warm water
Sieve the sugar into a biggish bowl, and add the water a little bit at a time. You will only need 2-3 tablespoons, not the whole cup. Mix with a wooden spoon (seriously, you need strong wrists for this....) until the mix is kinda runny but not liquid. (I'm really sorry that's not clearer but the books tell you to do it till it 'coats the back of the spoon' - what the hell good is that?!)
Add food colouring as you like - five drops of blue and three drops of green make a really good turquoise.... - and spread on the cooled biccits. Use a palate knife (one of which I do not have... anyone wants to get me a present... there you go!) dipped in the rest of the warm water to smooth out the icing.
Add sparkly sugar/confetti/100s&1000s/whatever you want!
Leave to set
so far I've been tweaking this recipe every time I make it, mostly with different types of toppings but the last batch I made had a teaspoon of ground ginger in it. It worked, but it could do with more ginger. Maybe a tablespoon?
This latest batch I made (and which are now on the cooling rack as I type...) have around a half tablespoon of cinnamon in there as well as the zest of one largish orange. As soon as they're cooled and iced (with a piece of orange zest on top) I'll let you know how they worked out!
(for those of you who know me well, can I just say - my sister gave me the original recipe. <deadpan voice> she has her uses </deadpan voice>)