The recipe generously makes 1 jigsaw picture of 20-30 pieces
As a rough size…each picture fits on a cookie baking tray. I started making these jigsaw pictures for my kids more than 20 years ago. They are a feature in our household. Your personal tolerance of colours will lead your direction for what type of design you choose.
- 250g Nuttalex margarine (at room temperature)
- 180g (1 1/2 cups) light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 600g (4cups) GF self-raising flour
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp golden syrup
- extra GF self-raising flour for kneading
- Draw a paper template of your design and cut it out.
- Make sure your design fits the serving board/tray you intend the end biscuit to sit on.
- Also make sure that it fits as one flat design on the cooking tray you place in the oven.
- This biscuit will spread when it cooks, so leave a generous edge.
- I have chosen dominantly white figures, for those sensitive to colours.
- If colours are not your concern, choose the orange pumpkin as a suggestion.
Prepare the dough
- Cream the Nuttalex and the sugar until light in colour and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and beat well
- Combine and sift the remaining dry ingredients, then fold them into the mixture by hand or use a very slow speed on your electric mixer
- Add the golden syrup and mix well
- Sprinkle extra flour onto a flat surface and knead the mixture until soft, but not sticky
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- The dough will be rolled out, and cut out, on baking paper. This baking paper, with the dough on it, will transfer straight to the baking tray for cooking.
Making your dough design:
- Place your baking paper on your bench
- Flour it and roll out the dough to 3-4mm (1/8in) in thickness. Be gentle so the paper does not crease underneath the dough. IF it does, just ease it flat again
- It needs to be large enough for your pattern to fit on it as one picture
- Try to have the dough the same thickness in the middle as it is on the edges
- With a knife, carefully cut around the shape outline of your pattern
- Remove all the excess dough from the edges. (You can cook other biscuits with that later)
- Slide this dough covered baking paper onto your baking tray
- Take your knife and cut squiggly lines through the dough, intersecting them to make odd-shaped jigsaw pieces
- If you know you are having 20 kids to the party, ensure you have at least 20 jigsaw shapes in your picture
- Position the tray middle to top of the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. If toward the bottom of the oven, it will burn at the base
- It should be a little golden in colour when you remove it from the oven
- Straight away… take your knife and cut through all the jigsaw lines again to break the connection, as they would have cooked together in the oven
- It will crisp on cooling, so don’t overcook it to make it crisp
- Leave on the tray to become cold
- 1 egg white
- ~500g (~2 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
- Colours and cachous at your discretion:- check all ingredients are right for you
- Beat the egg white in a small bowl until bubbly
- Add the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition
- You are looking for a spreadable consistency, but not runny, especially if using 2 or more colours in your end picture
- Colour portions of your icing as required by your chosen picture
Making the picture
- Place your paper template back on top of your cooked biscuit. It will be a bit smaller now that the biscuit has cooked
- Take a pin and prick through the lines you have drawn on the paper template for the eyes and mouth (or whatever is in your picture). This will mark the gingerbread beneath. You can then take a skewer or the pin and gently scratch a line onto your biscuit to join the dots.
- These lines will cross jigsaw pieces… and allows you to know what colour goes on what side of the line. Then when it is placed together again all the colours will be in the right place to see the picture. Start covering your design with the icing. Work on each piece individually. Place it back in the design before taking a new piece.
- The ghost and skull are mostly white, so these are good designs to start with, especially if colour is an issue for you.
- Let the white icing set for several hours before adding dark, strong colours, otherwise the reds and black may bleed into the white.
- To keep the jigsaw in place on a serving board you may need to place a little icing under the outer pieces to stop them moving.
- The final thing I do is pipe around the edges of the design to complete the picture. This also helps to stop the pieces from moving. You can do this in white if colour is an issue.
- Do NOT put this in the fridge or the colours in the icing will become moist and bleed when you take it out.
- When the icing is set, you can cover the biscuit in plastic wrap.