No-bake chocolate crispies
Makes: about 20 squares
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus setting time
• 250g (230ml) butter
• 500g (260ml) icing sugar, sifted
• 50g (160ml) cocoa
• 10ml vanilla essence
• 80g (250ml) desiccated coconut
• 105g (750ml) puffed rice cereal
1 Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add the icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla essence and stir well.
2 Stir in the coconut and cereal until combined well.
3 Pour into a greased and lined 25 x 25cm baking tin. Press in firmly and leave to rest in the fridge for two hours. Cut into squares in the tin, then turn the tin over to remove. Alternatively, press into mini-muffin or patty pan tins. Store in an airtight container.
Use the basic vanilla biscuit recipe to make the following:
• 20 red-coated chocolate sweets
• 40 small pretzels
• 40 silver balls
• 20 kebab sticks
• 1 large egg white
• 400g icing sugar, sifted
• 3ml lemon juice
1 Cut 6cm circles out of the biscuit dough and place onto a lined baking sheet.
2 Cut the pretzels in half to form the shape of the reindeer antlers. Press two into each biscuit.
3 Press a red sweet into the centre to form the nose and press two silver balls just above the nose to form the eyes. Bake for eight to 10 minutes or until the edges brown slightly. Leave on the baking sheet for five minutes, then leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
4 Royal icing Whisk the egg white until foamy. Beat in the lemon juice and icing sugar until it forms a very thick paste. Pipe icing onto the back of the biscuit and stick the kebab stick into the centre. Leave to set for about two hours or until the icing has hardened.
BASIC VANILLA BISCUITS
Makes: about 50
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus refrigeration time
Baking time: 8-12 minutes
Oven temperature: 180°C
• 185g (200ml) butter, softened
• 220g (250ml) castor sugar
• 10ml vanilla essence
• 1 large egg
• 1 large egg yolk
• 365g (675ml) cake flour
1 Cream the butter and castor sugar until light. Add the vanilla essence, egg and egg yolk and beat in well.
2 Stir in the flour. Use your hands to knead the last bit of flour in to form a dough. Flatten the dough and cover with clingwrap then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3 Divide the dough in half. Roll out each piece between two sheets of clingwrap.
Star biscuits for the rims of the glasses
1 Cut star shapes out of the biscuit dough. Cut a slit out of the shapes with a sharp-pointed knife. Cut away most of one of each star‘s points and about one-third of the way into the centre.
2 Carefully lift the stars and place onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for eight to 10 minutes or until the biscuits start to brown around the edges. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar or write on each person‘s name with royal icing.