At last, a product that combines two of my favourite things – biscuits, and llamas. The Llama Decorating Kit from Dr. Oetker costs £4 from larger supermarkets and contains decorations for making six llama biscuits and six cactus biscuits.
The box contained white fondant icing, green sugar flakes, red writing icing, yellow writing icing, green food colour gel, sugar flowers and coloured mini pearls. There’s also a cardboard template for cutting out the llama and cactus shapes, and a recipe for the biscuits.
The first step was to make the biscuits themselves, so that they had time to cool down before being decorated. I preheated the oven to 160 degrees C.
The recipe that comes with the box is as follows:
- 110g butter (softened)
- 45g caster sugar
- 1 tsp Dr. Oetker Vanilla Extract
- 200g plain flour
I substituted the vanilla extract for the grated rind of one lemon and one orange, but otherwise stuck with the suggested quantities. I creamed together the sugar and butter, stirred in the rind and gradually added the flour, working the mixture with my hands to get a smooth batter. Then, I turned it out onto a floured surface and rolled it out to 0.5cm thick.
The next bit was fiddly. I cut out the cardboard templates with scissors, and cut round them with the point of a knife. I also needed a fish slice to transfer the biscuits to a prepared baking sheet. Using these templates was by far and away the most time consuming part of the process, and young children would definitely need a bit of help with this bit. I appreciate that including a cutter in the kit would make it a lot more expensive, but perhaps the cutter could be sold separately as you’d only need to buy that once? With a cutter, this stage would have been a breeze!
I baked the biscuits for about 10 minutes until they were just pale golden brown, then put them on a wire rack to cool. (I had a bit of leftover dough, so just cut it into rounds with a cutter and baked it with the rest.) While they were cooling, I repeated my template business to cut the shapes out of the fondant icing, which I’d rolled flat. As I finished each shape, I transferred it to a plate which it could harden up a little before use. Once I’d finished, I spread each biscuit with apricot jam and pressed the icing shape on top of the biscuit.
The next bit was the fun bit, and if you have young children helping this is the stage I’d call them in at!! The decorating part was very easy – I tried to reproduce the photo on the pack to see if I could, but you could really get creative at this point. The 12 finished biscuits really did look like the illustration, and were pronounced delicious by my tasters!
There was plenty left in the pack to use the sprinkle decorations and writing icing again, which I think makes this pack good value for money (all the fondant icing got used up, but there were leftovers of everything else).
The whole process took me an hour from start to finish, including the baking, so if you’re looking for a way of keeping slightly older children occupied then this is a great idea. This is the second ‘complete kit’ that Dr. Oetker have produced, and I think they’re a good idea – I’ll look forward to seeing what else comes along.
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