Harry is an ardent admirer of the older woman. At the tender age of two, he is having his own Mrs Robinson moment and is far more enthralled by my often chic and stylish, rather more mature girlfriends than those of a similar height to him.

This weekend we will be seeing a number of them, so have embarked on a spot of decorative baking in an attempt to turn their heads.  Even projects like this one offer a number of opportunities for small, clean hands; the cutting of cookies, glueing of surfaces and rolling of icing all needed the services of my knee-high sous chef. Much of the original icing vanished during the project; the crumb-covered blackened mouth being a dead giveaway.

For these I used the sugar cookie recipe from cult British bakers Biscuiteers, which I’ve added below; the golden syrup makes the cookies crisp and deliciously chewy, although I should warn the uninitiated that toddlers and syrup are a recipe for kitchen chaos..

Boxed cookies in waxed paper tied with ribbon, to mail to a friend we won’t be seeing

Bake your cookies and assemble your decorations; I coloured royal icing with black paste and used ivory dragees, with edible glue to hold everything together

Use the same size cutter for the icing; the cookies expand a little in the oven leaving a nice rim around the iced shape.  The finished cookies will store for 7-10 days if kept in an airtight container (layer with greaseproof paper).  You can also freeze the unbaked dough.

Biscuiteers Sugar Cookie Recipe (from the Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits)

  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 125g salted butter; cubed
  • 125g golden syrup (corn syrup in the US)
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  1. Sift the flour together, add sugar and mix well
  2. Add the butter and rub together to resemble fine breadcrumbs
  3. Create a well in the centre and add the syrup and egg
  4. Mix well, into a ball; flatten and chill for 30mins or until ready to use
  5. Roll out, cut and bake for 10-15mins; mine took a little less than this so check at intervals to avoid over-baking.
  6. To adhere the icing to the cookies I used edible glue; for the dragees I dipped each in the glue with a pair of (sterilised!) tweezers and before adding to the neckline.  Doing this when the black icing is still soft and malleable helps them to remain in place
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