Whenever I read a book like The Hunger Games, I get totally immersed in that world. I want to taste the biscuits from Mellark’s bakery; I want to feast my eyes on pale purple melon. I want to live it as I read it. With the movie comes out this weekend, we’ll finally get to see if the Hollywood version lives up to all our imaginations. I wanted to make a simple biscuit for a Hunger Games feast. These biscuits are divine with a cold glass of milk and a perfect treat while reading.
Making the stencil
This is a recipe for easy, simple and delicious cookies with a cocoa design stencilled on top. To make the Hunger Games stencil, I printed out a simple line drawing of the logo from the Internet. I copied the line drawing onto a sheet of acetate with a permanent black marker. It helps if you sellotaope the paper to the corners of the acetate, to prevent it slipping. If you have a circular design like I did, you will have to leave some gaps in the black outline, so that shape holds together. You can fill in any small gaps with cocoa later. Next, place the acetate and paper onto a hard surface that you can cut on. I used a plastic chopping board. Cut out the black lines on the acetate with a craft knife. Acetate is pretty tough stuff, so you will need a nice sharp craft knife. Once you have cut out all the black lines, remove the selloptape and paper to reveal your stencil. Test your stencil works, by placing it on a clean white plate and dusting some cocoa over it. Remove the stencil from the plate, and it should reveal the image.
Makes 15-20 biscuits
– 80g of butter, at room temperature
– 80g of castor sugar
– 1 egg, lightly beaten
– 200g of flour
– 5g of baking powder
– A little extra flour for rolling out cookies.
– Cocoa powder, for stencilling
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking sheet with silicone paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour and baking powder and mix well with a wooden spoon until all the flour is combined. Gather the dough up into a ball. Wrap in a clear plastic bag/cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once rested, take out the cookie dough, and place on a floured surface. I find it easier to divide the dough in half and roll out half at a time. Roll the dough out to about 5mm in thickness. I used a tartlet case as a cookie cutter as my stencil was quite big, but a large cookie cutter would also work fine.
Once you have rolled out your cookies, place them onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently place the stencil on the centre of the cookie. I used a small clean paintbrush to apply the cocoa. I then lightly dusted a small sprinkle of cocoa on top with a sieve. The key thing is not to apply too much cocoa as it won’t set. Another key thing is, don’t sneeze! or you will undo all of your hard work. Cocoa is tricky stuff to work with. Once you have applied the cocoa, very carefully remove the stencil. Dust the stencil off and continue stencilling the rest of the biscuits.There were a few gaps in my stencil, which I filled in with a small paintbrush and cocoa. As soon as you have finished, pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. They smell totally delicious when they come out of the oven, chocolate and buttery. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve with a glass of milk and The Hunger Games.