My children’s favourite biscuit is probably the Cookie Bear Hundreds and Thousands biscuits.
I can’t remember what brand makes them over in the UK but these are the ones we prefer here in NZ. They are a pretty simple biscuit and therefore just asking to be made at home. If I make them myself then I know what is in them and the children still get to eat gaudy coloured biscuits. Everyone’s happy. Except maybe not the Cookie Bear because he doesn’t make any profit this way.
I did a test and these work just as well with Gluten Free flour so you can do a GF version if you need to. Even more people are happy! Well, still not the bear…
This is taken from The Primrose Bakery Book by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas.
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g golden caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour (can use 200g Gluten Free flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
For the icing:
150g icing sugar
2-3 tbsp boiling water
Drops of food colouring as required
Hundreds and thousands…erm lots of them
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and beat again. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, then beat until well combined.
You will have a slightly sticky dough, which I then roll in a little bit of flour so I can put it in a snap lock bag. Put this in the fridge for an hour.
When you return in an hour, put your oven to heat to 180 C. And roll out some greaseproof paper on a baking sheet.
Then get the dough out of the fridge and it should be a good texture to roll out easily. If it is sticky (I thought it was more so when using the GF flour) add some flour to help roll it out to 5mm thick. Using a cookie cutter of about 6cm diameter, cut as many round biscuits as you can. Place them about 1cm apart on the baking sheets. I had two baking sheets worth.
Bake for between 8 and 12 minutes, depending on your oven and how golden you want them to be. I like them a pale shade as I think they are more melt in the mouth than disintegrate in your mouth – personal preference rules here. After six minutes I just keep checking on them every minute or two.
Put them on a cooling rack and let them completely cool before you start icing. I do this whole first section without children but this is definitely a recipe that could have children involved. Mine love cutting out biscuits but I wanted to have neat biscuits so on this occasion, they weren’t invited.
The icing is pretty simple to make up. Add enough water to the icing sugar to get a thick, and yet still runny consistency. I start with one of the suggested tablespoons and go from there until I get the desired texture. Basically you want to be able to spread it on top of the biscuits easily, but you don’t want it to dribble off the edges.
I went for three different colours rather than the traditional pink. I always put in too many drops so my colours were pretty dark, the green one looked like snot.
This is the part the children were invited to join in with. A little dollop in the middle of the biscuit and then use the back of your spoon to spread it out in circular motions. Don’t go too close to the edge.
Then add your hundreds and thousands on top. You want to get them on quickly when the icing is still sticky. For a few of these the icing was already setting so I had to press the hundreds and thousands into the surface of the icing. And despite that there were literally hundreds and thousands running all over my counter. Probably should have put them on a plate when adding the hundreds and thousands, but children don’t find that half as entertaining.
And there you have it. Really easy and if not healthy, certainly healthier than the shop-bought versions. I’m sure you could make them with a sugar free, digestive biscuit and icing made out of avocado or pureed almonds but where’s the fun in those?!?
Surprisingly both my children went straight for the bogey green ones.