Christmas comes early in my household in the form of these adorable and simple-to-make biscuits. The dough can be kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped, for up to a week so you can prepare the dough in advance for Christmas; just cut them to shapes and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes whenever you want them. They make excellent gifts and tasty nibbles during this festive season. You can make these well-flavoured biscuits during any season and for any occasion – the Christmas shapes, white icing and silver balls really dress these biscuits for the year-end festivities. Click here for more Christmas cooking inspiration.
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(make about 12 10-cm stars)
Credits: Recipe from Christmas Treats to Make & Give by Linda Collister
A) For making the biscuits
- 75g unsalted butter, melted at room temperature
- 50g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 40g cream cheese
- 150g plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice (see cooking note 2)
B) For decorating (optional)
- edible silver balls aka dragée (see cooking note 3)
- writing icing pen (see cooking note 3)
- Christmas-shaped biscuit cutter (such as star) (see cooking note 3)
- flat baking tray
- a surface (preferably wooden) for rolling out the dough
- roller pin, sift and large bowl
1. Beat the butter with the sugar and lemon zest using a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer.
2. Add lemon juice and cream cheese. Sift in the flour, salt, mixed spice and work in.
3. When thoroughly combined, remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. The dough can be kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped, for up to a week.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap and roll out on a lightly floured work surface until 5mm thick.
5. Dip the biscuit cutter in flour and cut out shapes. Gather up the trimmings and re-roll, then cut out more shapes.
6. Arrange slightly apart on the baking trays. Bake for 12-15 minutes in preheated oven of 180C (350F) until just turning golden brown at the edges.
7. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cold.
8. If desired, decorate with writing icing pen and edible silver balls. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.
1. If using as a Christmas tree decoration, use a skewer to make a small hole at the top of each shape large enough to thread a ribbon through at step 5. After the biscuits are baked and decorated, thread with ribbons. Not recommended to be used as a decoration piece in Singapore due to our high humidity.
2. Mixed spice is a traditional British blend of sweet spices, similar to America’s pumpkin pie spice. I couldn’t find this mixed spice blend in Singapore so I made an easy home version by combining spices using the following ratio: 1 tbsp ground cinnamon: 1 tsp ground nutmeg: 1/2 tsp allspice. Store excess in a bottle for future use.
3. Where to find supplies in Singapore – I bought the edible silver balls (labelled “dragees”, “Red Man” brand) at Phoon Huat/Cold Storage, “Cake Mate” icing pen (decorating gel – white) at Cold Storage and Christmas-shapes cookie cutters at Daiso & Phoon Huat.