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Pope's Party Biscuits |

Papa, can you hear me? We've made you some beautiful biscuits in honour of you and your birthday. The biscuit recipe is an Italian original Christmas recipe known as pasta frolla from An Italian in my Kitchen.

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes: 20-30 biscuits (depending on if your pope wears mitres or zucchetos)

Ingredients Biscuits:

225g plain flour

100g sugar

1tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 egg yolk

130g butter

Ingredients Icing:

200g icing sugar

2 1/2 - 3tbsps water

various food colourings

1. When the moon hits the pope like a big pastaaaa frollaaaa

Find yourself a bowl as big as the pope's mitre and whisk 225g flour, 100g sugar and 1tsp baking powder. Make a well the size of baptismal font and crack the egg, 1 yolk and 130g butter into it. Mix until almost combined and then tip onto your work surface, knead the dough until it comes together.

Form it into a ball like its a football the papa francesco kicked as a young boy in Argentina, but don't kick it away, wrap it in your nearest cassock, or cling film, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Shape the pope like he shapes the world

After 30 minutes, pre-heat your oven to 180c and take your dough out of the fridge. Divide it in half and roll one half out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut the dough into as many popes as you can placing them on a pre-lined baking sheet as you go, repeat with the other half of the dough. You can be as accurate as you like in the cutting, aiming for a true pope likeness, ferula and all, or something more akin to a gingerbread pope. We used this video from Vox as a quick guide to the pope's outfits, allowing us to count for how many gingerbread popes needed a mitre or a pellegrina.

Bake until lightly golden, approximately 10-12 minutes and leave to cool 5 minutes on the baking tray, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Here you can see the outcomes of our (very) different approaches to pope-shaping

2. Ice ice baby

For icing the multitudes of pope's dresses (including potentially a very special never before seen technicoloured dream dress) it is best to have a number of piping bags and piping colours available. Mix together the 200g icing sugar and 2 1/2 - 3tbsps water, go slowly adding the water, you don't want the icing too wet or it will drip and blend together. No-one likes a pope that looks like he's been left out in the rain, why else do you think the popemobile has a roof?!

Decant some of the white icing into a few different bowls and add whichever food colours you need, add this to the piping bags and get the pope dressed however you see fit!

Here a shade of darker grey gives the pope his very snappy pellegrina, faschia and zuchetto

Deck out the pope in all of his papal garb, to make enough biscuits to hand out for his birthday

Dink, sink and pray that your icing sins are forgiven...

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "This has by far been my favourite recipe to make, if anything just because of the reveal of each of our pope biscuits at the end, it was like we followed a Chinese whisper brief . It was nice to celebrate the Pope's birthday in style and mark the day, I feel he would have been very appreciative. The dough was very easy to make and was a traditional Italian recipe, perhaps a little dry - in the future I would use a more buttery biscuite dough. The biscuits I made also had a lot of icing on, so it was quite the sugar rush after each bite. But of course these biscuits could only ever be 10/10"

Kate says: "So the aim of these biscuits was two-fold, firstly the recipe is a genuinely lovely Italian Christmas biscuit, but also Papa Francis' birthday is on December 17th so we decided to combine the two and make him some birthday treats. Before we began our (probably) blasphemous icing, the biscuits were so-so in taste, but the fun we had adding the papal robes certainly made up for that. I think that the icing did add a nice and needed sweetness - but probably it didn't need to be flooded with icing... I'm not sure I would make the biscuits again and I'd probably give them a perfectly reasonable 6/10, but accidentally committing sacrilege and the crying from laughter at just how differently we took the brief was a 10/10". P.S I edited my template from this link, while Lizzy was rather more accurate..."

10/10 Gasps


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