For the biscuits
250g unsalted butter, softened
90g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
225g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling
3 x 65g tubs Lakeland Christmas Beans
For the caramel
75g caster sugar
12 x 25cm lengths white food-safe 3mm ribbon
165g Wilton Bright White Candy Melts
165g Renshaw Green Colour Melts
165g Renshaw Red Colour Melts
You will need mini pinata moulds to make these biscuits. The Pinata Cookie Cups Mould is available from Lakeland priced at £14.99. Cat ref: 19477
1. To make the biscuit dough, beat the butter and sugar together for 1 minute then add the egg yolks and blend thoroughly. Add the flour, salt, cream and vanilla extract and beat until you have a smooth dough. Knead until smooth on a lightly floured surface. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Lightly flour the cookie mould and brush the inside of the cookie press with Cake Release.
3. Remove half the dough from the fridge and cut it into 4 even pieces. Divide each piece into 3, so you have 12 equal pieces of dough.
4. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and press over the floured domes of the mould, pushing down slightly. Place the cookie press over the dough-topped domes and press down evenly and firmly to mould the dough into cup shapes. Gently lift the press up, taking care not to pull the dough away from the pan.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes, removing from the oven before the biscuits are too brown. Cool for 5 minutes then transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
6. With the remaining dough, repeat steps 3 to 5 until you have 24 baked biscuit cups.
7. Divide the Christmas beans between 12 of the biscuit cups, making sure they are no more than three-quarters full. To make the caramel to stick the cups together, warm the caster sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until melted. Heat for a further 1-2 minutes or until it turns a caramel colour then remove from the hob.
8. Working quickly before the caramel sets, brush the edges of the filled cups with the caramel then loop a length of ribbon and stick the ends onto the caramel, making sure the looped part is out of the cup. Top the bean-filled cup with an empty biscuit cup and repeat until you have 12 biscuit baubles. Leave for 5 minutes until the caramel has set.
9. Melt the Candy Melts and Colour Melts in separate bowls in a microwave following the packet instructions. Once they are melted and smooth, take 4 of the baubles and dip one half of each in the white bowl until completely covered then leave to set on a cooling rack. Repeat this process with 4 more baubles in the green bowl and the last 4 baubles in the red bowl; leave them all to set.
10. Carefully holding the covered half uppermost, dip each uncovered half in the Melts, using a clean finger to smooth any uneven parts then leave this newly coated half upwards to set on a cooling rack until firm. Each bauble should now be completely coated in the same colour.
11. Re-melt the leftover Melts in the microwave on defrost at 30-second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth again. Transfer each colour to a separate piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. Use all the colours to drizzle decorations over the baubles then leave until set.
Tip 1: If your Melts have firmed up slightly, simply pop them back in the microwave and re-melt on defrost at 30-second intervals, stirring until melted and smooth again.
Tip 2: Use the clean cookie mould and also the cookie press, upturned, to hold the baubles steady when decorating.