The melt-in-the-mouth classic
You can’t beat a gossip over a cuppa, so why not tempt friends round to yours with some tasty teatime classics? These really do melt in the mouth and take no skill to make. You will need a piping bag, though. You can buy a basic piping set containing a bag and a couple of nozzles from cookery and department stores.
• 125g unsalted butter, softened
• 25g icing sugar
• 2 large pinches of baking powder
• 125g plain flour
• 1/2tsp vanilla essence
• about 50g dark or milk chocolate
• hundreds and thousands, to decorate
1) Beat the butter until really soft, then add the sugar and beat again until light and fluffy. 2) Add the baking powder, flour and vanilla essence and beat to make a fairly firm dough, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
3) Cover a couple of baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment and pipe 10cm-long fingers, spaced well apart. Bake at gas mark 3/170ºC/325ºF for about 10 minutes until pale golden brown, then set aside to cool.
4) Break the chocolate into small pieces, tip into a bowl, then stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted.
5) Dip both ends of the biscuits in chocolate, lay on non-stick paper and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands, if you like. Leave to set.