You can customise these with your favourite book titles, or just enjoy them as they are. They are designed to look like old, leatherbound books. You can definitely judge these books by their cover, as they are just as delicious as they look and so good when you bite into the hidden cherry.
Prep time: 15 mins (shortbread), 10 mins (icing)
Bake time: 15 mins
Plus assembly and decorating time
For biscuit dough:
- 140g butter
- 70g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 180g plain flour
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
For royal icing:
- 20g egg white
- 112g icing sugar
- Gel food dyes
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined. Add the flour and cocoa powder, then use your hands to combine into a ball of dough. Do not overwork.
Roll out dough on a generously floured surface. Use a ruler to mark out and cut rectangles about 5cm x 7.5cm. Roll out marzipan and cut out small rectangles to fit inside the biscuit book when its folded over. Remove the centre of the marzipan, as you will replace this with frozen cherry later. Place the marzipan with its centre removed on the right hand side of the dough rectangle. Chop frozen cherries finely, then plaace these in the centre of the marzipan. Fold over the dough rectangle like a book. If cracks appear where you fold it over, use your fingers to push these back together (although some cracks are good, as they help give the illusion of an aged book). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C (fan)/190C/375F/gas mark 5. When the biscuits have chilled, bake for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool on the tray for five minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Use an electric whisk to combine the icing sugar and egg white until smooth and a pipeable consistency. Colour this as desired then transfer to piping bags. Once the biscuits/books are completely cool, use this icing to pipe titles on the books.