Well, I am in full on Christmas mode now. So far this week I’ve made a fabulously Easy Peasy Turkey Traybake, 24 cute little Easy Peasy Mince Pies and given you 7 different things to do with sprouts this Christmas and today I’m sharing one of my favourite Christmas recipes: Easy Peasy Christmas Star Biscuits.
I just love these little biscuits. They have melt in the mouth texture and are gently spiced for a crowd-pleasing Christmassy flavour. I’ve kept the spicing gentle as they are designed to be eaten by children. (My daughter, in particular, is not a fan of ginger biscuits, but will happily eat these.) I have been making these every year since my kids were very small and they are a very much established Christmas tradition in our house. If your kids won’t go near spices, they are still nice without the spices in them. You could always add a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead, if you like.
The kids absolutely love making these and they are so easy and quick to make (2 things I consider essential for any recipe designed for children to make!!). My kids are still young (5 and 7) and so need a little help rolling the mixture out and getting the shapes into the tray (they do manage some, hence the slightly unusual shaped stars in the photos) and of course putting them in the oven and taking them out again, but older children should be able to manage these by themselves.
Do be careful not to let these biscuits burn – they cook very quickly and will burn easily if you don’t get them out of the oven as soon as they are cooked. When they are cooked, they will be pale gold on top and just slightly darker round the edges and they will be slightly soft in the middle, but will crisp up as they cool down. I cook these at 180C and start checking them after about 8 minutes. I usually find they take about 10 minutes, but the bigger ones can take up to 15. If in doubt get them out. You can always pop them back in if you decide they are not quite done but you can’t un-burn them!
I can’t give you an exact quantity of biscuits these make as it varies depending on the size of cutter you use. I use a mixture of different cutter sizes and this usually produces between 30 and 40 biscuits. I always make stars with this biscuit mixture, but I’m sure it would work equally well as bells, Christmas trees, reindeer or whatever else you decide to make!
- 250g self raising flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 125g cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes (plus extra for greasing)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 125g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- Grease 2 large baking sheets with a little butter on some greaseproof paper. Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Place the flour in the bowl (you can sieve it if you like but I never bother) and add the cubes of cold butter. Rub the butter and flour between your fingers (as if you are trying to rub the flour into the butter) until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sugar and spices thoroughly, then add a beaten egg and stir again. Gradually the mixture should start to come together as a dough but if it doesn’t all stick together, add a tiny bit of water to help it come together. Don’t add too much, though!
- As soon as your biscuit mixture starts coming together, use your hands to squish it together into a ball.
- Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and pop your ball of biscuit mixture on top. Roll out the biscuit mixture to a thickness of about 5mm (it doesn’t have to be perfect – no need to get your ruler out!)
- Using a selection of star shaped cutters, cut out your stars and gently lay them on your baking tray. Spread them out a bit as they will grow a little in the oven.
- When you have got as many stars out of the biscuit mixture as possible, squish the mixture back together, shape into a ball again and then roll out again. You should find you can get a few more stars out of the re-rolled mixture. Keep squishing and rerolling until you have run out of mixture.
- Put the biscuits in your preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until the stars are pale gold on top and just a bit darker round the edges. Start checking after 8 minutes and if in doubt get them out! They can always be popped back in if they are not done enough.
- When your biscuits are cooked, place them on a wire rack to cool. They can be eaten warm or cold. When they are completely cool they can be stored in a cake tin or other airtight container.
2 large baking trays (or whatever you’ve got…pizza trays, roasting trays and cake tins all work well)
Greaseproof paper or the butter wrapper (for greasing the baking trays)
Star shaped cutters (or any other shape you fancy)
Wire cooling rack (or improvise with your grill rack or a roasting rack)
Cake tin for storing your biscuits in when they’ve cooled down