My Biscuit Birds were created especially for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. They are delicious eaten on their own or placed and enjoyed with my Salty and Tweet Nest, complete with chocolate eggs and pretzel sticks. Apart from being a tasty treat, the pretzel sticks and biscuits were a way of recording the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. The various decorative ingredients add not just texture and taste to the birds but signify the different species. From sesame seed sparrows to dessicated coconut chaffinches, feel free to use whatever edible feathers and finish you desire to create your sweet tweeting treats. The recipe can be found on both the RSPB website here and below. The basic biscuit dough is the one that features in Quinntessential Baking together with the tiffin Salty & Tweet Nest.
- 150 g butter, softened
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 300 g plain flour
- 50 g chocolate, melted
- Assortment of sesame seeds, linseeds, desiccated coconut and broken up shredded wheat.
- Pretzel sticks to both act as an edible tally and broken up to create an edible nest for the biscuit birds to sit in.
Using a hand-held electric whisk, or in a free-standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for 3–5 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Break the egg into a mug or jug, add the vanilla extract and beat with a fork.
Gradually add the egg to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour into the mixture in two or three batches, mixing in each batch gently, to make a soft dough.
Halve the dough and pat each piece into a rough disc (this makes it easier to roll out later). Put into two food bags, or wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight, to firm up.
Remove the dough from the fridge 15–30 minutes before rolling it, so it can soften slightly. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
Roll out the dough between sheets of baking parchment to the thickness of a £1 coin. If the dough seems very sticky, dust it and the parchment lightly with a little flour. Peel off the top parchment sheet, then cut out your bird shapes and use a cocktail stick to create the indent of an eye.
Bake the biscuits for 10–12 minutes until they are lightly golden brown around the edges. Leave them to firm up for a few minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Apply the melted chocolate to the birds using a paintbrush and sprinkle over your desired edible feathers and leave to set.