Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease baking trays.
In a large bowl cream together butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time then stir in vanilla and almond essences, milk and oil. Combine the flour and baking powder then stir into the wet mixture. Roll dough into 2cm balls. On a lightly floured surface roll the balls out into ropes about 12cm long. Tie into loose knots and place biscuits 2cm apart on the prepared baking trays.
Bake for 5 minutes on the bottom shelf and 5 minutes on the top shelf of the preheated oven until the bottoms of the biscuits are golden brown. When biscuits are cool dip them into the icing.
To make the icing: cream together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and almond essences. Mix in 3 tablespoons milk one tablespoon at a time then stir in the food colouring if desired.