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This is quite the mouthful. In both senses. My final time doing cooking week at preschool, as soon my little Mole shall be going to school. This term is all about water, so I wanted to continue on this theme. And as Molly loves picking up shells on the beach, I thought this would be a rather nice idea. I was rather worried about the fragility of the shortbread shells, but bar one little boys’ crushing, they all held together beautifully. I used edible shimmer in pink for the interior pink butter icing, and a silvery shimmer for the white fondant icing pearl itself. When Molly and I baked the biscuits the day before, and tested one out, afterwards she gave me a big hug and said it was such a good idea, and that it looked beautiful. Luckily they taste damn fine as well.

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The shell I used for the mould was one of the many that we have lying around. It was nice and big and had lovely ridges.

Shortbread Shells – Makes 20 (you’ll need two per shell, so 10 in total). Although I did two batches, so 40 or 20 complete shells.

125g unsalted butter

55g caster sugar

180g plain flour

Few drops of vanilla extract

Few drops of natural pink food colouring

 

Heat the oven to 190. Lay baking paper on several baking trays. Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the flour. Turn out onto a work surface to bring together. Remove a large knob, add the food colouring to this and mix in. Re-introduce this lump into the main dough, and knead over a few times to mix in a marble-effect way. Then roll into small balls, and press into the cling-film lined shell. Remove from shell, place on the baking paper. Press in (preferably with little fingers) to make the edge of the shell crenulated. Once finished with first batch place in fridge for 15 minutes, whilst you make the second batch. Bake in oven for 10 minutes (or until just turning golden). Cool on a wire rack.

Pink Butter Icing – for the interior of the shells

250g icing sugar

125g unsalted butter

1 / 2 tblsp milk

Few drops of natural pink food colouring

Sift icing sugar into a bowl and mix with the butter until smooth. Add the milk until a spreadable consistency.

Fondant Icing – for the pearls

250g icing sugar

4 – 6 drops water (bit more if using the next day to get the shimmer to stick)

 

To Assemble

With a teaspoon, spread the pink butter icing onto one of the shells, then sprinkle with some pink edible shimmer. Then tear a small piece of fondant icing off, roll into a ball, then roll over some silvery shimmer. Place pearl at front of shell and place upper shell on top. Look. Think. Eat.

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