LIFE IN LOCKDOWN | Day 27: Bake a batch of martian biscuits with your kids

These tasty creatures from outer space are amazingly simple to make

19 April 2020 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Martian biscuits.
Martian biscuits.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

Life in lockdown means time to have fun and discover the joy of making food. Case in point? These tasty creatures from outer space.

They're made using a classic gingerbread man cutter, but the biscuit dough itself is not spiced. It's an amazingly simple dough to make and requires just four ingredients: butter, sugar, an egg and flour.

Your children are sure to enjoy rolling out the dough, cutting out the 'martians' and decorating them using glace icing and sweets or dried fruit.

MARTIAN BISCUIT MEN

Makes: 1 dozen

Biscuit dough:

125g butter or margarine, softened but not melted

100g (½ cup) caster sugar

1 large egg

435ml (1 ¾ cups) flour

Decoration:

250ml (1 cup) icing sugar, sifted

30ml (2 tbsp) hot water

Green colouring

Sweets of your choice, like liquorice allsorts, jelly babies or jelly beans (You can use raisins and sliced dried fruit, if you prefer)

Method:

  1. For the biscuits combine the butter, caster sugar and egg in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Sift in the flour and use a wooden spoon to bring the dough together.
  3. Lightly flour the counter surface and knead the dough by hand until smooth. Place in a plastic bag and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Remove the dough and cut it in half.
  5. Roll out the dough between two pieces of greaseproof paper. When it's 4mm-5mm thick use a gingerbread man cutter to cut out figures and gently lift them onto a greased baking tray. Depending on the size of the tray you will have to bake 2-3 batches for 15 minutes each. Any extra dough can be rolled out and shaped into biscuits and baked around the figures.
  6. Make the icing by placing the icing sugar in a bowl and adding the hot water a teaspoon at a time. Add a drop or two of colouring and mix well until you have an icing that can be spread but is not too runny.
  7. Remove the biscuits from the oven when golden brown and gently use an egg lifter to lift them to a cooling rack to cool.
  8. In the meantime cut the sweets or dried fruit into different shapes.
  9. Using a teaspoon, spread the icing on the biscuits, taking care around the edges.
  10. Press sweets or dried fruit into icing and allow to set completely.

• From gripping series to watch, to fun crafts to do with your children, we'll be adding a new activity to our “Life in Lockdown” series every day. Keep an eye on timeslive.co.za for tomorrow's instalment.