I love star shapes, and when it comes to Christmas cookies theyâ€™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 â€“ out-sized faces â€“ and Father Christmases â€“ strange facial hair.)
These could be hung on a tree â€“ in which case, poke a hole before baking them â€“ but theyâ€™re delicious eaten around a tree, next to a tree or even when fondly imagining a tree â€“ whatever suits. When I make them to be eaten rather than hung, I go with an assortment of star sizes â€“ the mini ones are really cute for a drinks party.
Star Cookies (makes 12 ish, depending on the size of the cutter)225 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 confectionerâ€™s (icing) sugar (at least) Few tsp milk Decorative flourishes â€“ silver balls, sprinkles, etc
- Pre heat the oven to 350 (180 if youâ€™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 Â½ 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 â€“ 12 mins â€“ I swap my trays around between the middle and top shelf, and I turn them so that the back becomes the front â€“ though my oven has a mind of its own â€“ you may not need to be so paranoid
- Cool on a rack
- Once cool, sieve the confectionerâ€™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.