What is a baby shower without at least a smattering of biscuits? If you've volunteered (or were volunteered) to bring biscuits for the baby shower, don’t despair. It's not as difficult as you think and all you just need to know a few tricks to bake it properly.
First of all, make everything cold. All the ingredients, including the flour, would work best when they've been chilled before they're used. Take the time to rest the dough in the refrigerator before cutting it out. You'd also get better results if the cutout biscuits are chilled before they're baked. They will keep their shape much better instead of puff out and be shapeless.
Second, line the pans with a sheet of parchment paper or silicone baking mats. These will keep the bottoms of the biscuits from getting too brown and destroying their taste as well as their looks.
All you need is a good biscuit recipe and you can either make your biscuits savory or sweet. And you don't need to leave off decorations on the savory biscuits, either. Icing can come in the form of savory cream cheese, for example, or the biscuits can be dusted with paprika or powdered basil.
Before you start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To bake the basic biscuits, cream together 125 grams butter and a half a cup of sugar. Add in a pinch of salt and an egg and mix very well.
Add a cup each of plain unbleached flour and self-raising flour half a cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. If needed, add a splash of milk to get it workable.
Turn out the dough on a lightly floured board and knead lightly. Divide the dough into two parts and pat each one into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for about twenty minutes.
Roll out one at a time, as thinly as you would like, and cut out with a floured biscuit cutter. Chill the biscuits for a few minutes before baking them for eight to ten minutes, depending on whether you like them tender or crisp.
For the sweet variations, you can add a teaspoon of citrus zest to the mix, or some pumpkin pie spice if you prefer. Or remove a fourth of a cup of regular unbleached flour and substitute cocoa to make chocolate biscuits. Why not sprinkle the top of the cookies with some finely chopped nuts or sanding sugar?
Savory variations are easy, too. You can throw in a teaspoonful of dried herbs to the mix or add a few tablespoonfuls of grated dry cheese like Parmesan in. Or add savory spices like paprika or white pepper. Another variation is to put in a teaspoonful or so of crisp bacon, thinly sliced ham, or cooked sausage meat.
A basic savory icing can be created using cream cheese. Simply
cream together 125 grams cream cheese, two tablespoons honey, and
one tablespoon hot sauce. Pipe it on your savory biscuits, top with
a sprig of parsley or some herb flowers, and you're done.