Photo: LAURA HYND
70g plain flour
250gms unsalted butter, diced
125gms golden caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift the flour and half a teaspoon of salt into a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or a mixer, until well combined and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix well, then work in the flour. Once the mixture comes together as a dough, dust your hands with flour and wrap it in cling film. Chill for an hour (or up to a few days if more convenient) or freeze for up to a month. This dough can otherwise be tricky to work, especially in hot weather or a warm kitchen.
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Roll out the dough using plenty of flour (it is quite sticky) to 3-4mm thick. Cut out the biscuits with your chosen cutters and lay them on two baking sheets lined with parchment. Make holes towards the top of each with a skewer for threading through the ribbon. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until pale gold. Cool on a wire rack, re-forming the ribbon holes with the skewer.
700g white sugarpaste
colour paste in the colours you would like to use.
250g packet royal icing
6m coloured ribbon for hanging
Divide the sugarpaste into three and place in separate polythene bags. Use the colours on two pieces and leave one white
On a clean work surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the sugarpaste to about 2mm thick. Cut out with the cutters matching the shapes
Make the royal icing according to the packet instructions, divide into colours and put into piping bags.
Pipe a little royal icing on to the biscuit and use to stick on the sugarpaste shape. Make a hole in the sugarpaste in the same place as that on the biscuit for the ribbon. Add silver balls for decoration.
Allow the sugarpaste and icing to set overnight. Cut the ribbon into 25cm lengths and thread through each biscuit.