Vanilla star cookies

I love star shapes, and when it comes to Christmas cookies they’re by far the easiest; no messing around with decorative icing, a star looks like a star. (For the record, my Nativity cookies were the worst, especially the donkey and the wise men, who looked like hunchback aliens. But I also have a poor track record with angels – out-sized faces – and Father Christmases – strange facial hair.)

These could be hung on a tree – in which case, poke a hole before baking them – but they’re delicious eaten around a tree, next to a tree or even when fondly imagining a tree – whatever suits. When I make them to be eaten rather than hung, I go with an assortment of star sizes – the mini ones are really cute for a drinks party.

Star Cookies (makes 12 ish, depending on the size of the cutter)

Star Cutters for Christmas Star Cookie recipe225 g plain all purpose flour
110 g super fine (caster) sugar
110g cold butter, chopped into cubes
1 egg
1 vanilla pod
2 cups of confectioner’s (icing) sugar (at least)
Few tsp milk
Decorative flourishes – silver balls, sprinkles, etc

  • Pre heat the oven to 350 (180 if you’re British)
  • Tip the flour, sugar, and butter into a processor
  • Cut the vanilla pod in half and gently scrape out the seeds. Add to the processor.
  • Blitz to mix into breadcrumbs
  • Beat the egg, then add and mix again into a dough
  • (or rub the butter, sugar, vanilla and flour between your fingers into breadcrumbs, add the egg and mix with a wooden spoon into a dough)
  • Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to about ½ cm thickness (my grandma uses the roll of plastic wrap so that she can rip off the layer and avoid washing up)
  • Cut out star shapes, using a spatula to transfer them to a baking tray (punch holes with a skewer if desired)
  • Bake for 10 – 12 mins – I swap my trays around between the middle and top shelf, and I turn them so that the back becomes the front – though my oven has a mind of its own – you may not need to be so paranoid
  • Cool on a rack
  • Once cool, sieve the confectioner’s sugar (or quickly blitz in the processor) to get rid of the lumps. Add a patient tsp of water at a time until you have a thick paste. Ice the cookies as the muse leads you. I tend to outline with icing then sprinkle with silver. If you want to ice the whole cookie you may need more icing

This recipe appeared in a post with a story about tree trimming parties and my friend Jess’ lethal apple punch.

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