Batman is without a doubt the best superhero ever. He doesn’t even have any superhuman powers, he’s just a man with lots of resources and a noble mission. And, let’s face it, Batman films are generally better than other superhero films (I’m obviously overlooking those Val Kilmer/George Clooney ones). The Tim Burton films were on constant repeat in our house when I was young, my brother and I were crazy about them. We had various toy figures as well and used to recreate the battles and fly the Batwing around. And the newest trilogy of Christopher Nolan films are just so powerful and dark. I don’t know if it’s a reflection of the original comics or the film-makers, but the bad guys in Batman films tend to be so much better (more menacing, more interesting) than those in other superhero films.
So it was with great excitement that I went to see the last installment at the weekend, and I certainly was not disappointed. My excitement, however, paled in comparison to my boyfriend’s, who has been poring over every trailer for clues and warning signs, agonising over reviews whilst trying to avoid spoilers, and generally building up to a frenzied state. Not that any further encouragement was needed, but I baked him some Bat-biscuits to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Unfortunately, the icing was a total disaster – I just could not seem to get the consistency right and it turned out rather gloopy and unworkable:
But the biscuits themselves were glorious, flavoured with vanilla, just tinged golden brown at the edges:
And my other batches of icing were glossy and perfect and made for some pretty little biscuits:
The recipe for the dough is lovely, and I will definitely be using it again. You don’t need to stick with vanilla for the flavouring, I’m inclined to experiment with some lemon juice or zest, or maybe add some spice next time.
Makes 24-30 biscuits, from Great British Book Of Baking
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 egg, beaten
400g plain flour
1. Line 2-3 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Use a knife to split the vanilla pod in half lenthwise, and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Beat together. Don’t worry about the presence of grainy black seeds from the vanilla pod – they should be there.
3. Gradually add the egg, beating well after each addition.
4. Sift the flour into the bowl and slowly work the ingredients together. Bring it together with your hands to make a soft dough.
5. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flat disc shape, wrap it in clingfilm and chill it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
6. Roll out the dough, a portion at a time, on a floured surface to a thickness of 5mm (I used my fancy rolling pin with set measurements and got a lovely even bake as a result). Cut out shapes using your cutters, place them carefully on the prepared baking sheets, then re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used up. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Place the shapes slightly apart to allow for some spreading. Preheat the oven to 180C.
7. Chill for 15 minutes before baking.
8. Bake for 9-12 minutes until just starting to turn golden brown at the edges and firm to the touch (rotate the trays once during baking). Stand on the trays for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
9. When the biscuits have cooled to room temperature, they are ready to be decorated. I mixed 500g icing sugar with 4tbsp water, adding more as needed to get the desired consistency (except the black, which, as mentioned, failed). Divide it into bowls, colour it, and either pipe on line or spread with a palette knife. Leave to set before eating.