Sweat treats

A thoughtful present or pretty tree decoration, these biscuits are easy to make and great for sharing

Basic biscuit dough

Ready in 20 minutes, plus chilling

This deliciously buttery biscuit dough forms the base for all our gorgeous biscuit treats. Each batch will make 18 button or fluted biscuits or 9 sandwiched biscuits.

125g unsalted butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
seeds from 1⁄2 vanilla pod
200g plain flour, sifted
1⁄4 tsp baking powder

Christmas biscuit box

1 Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C/160 ̊C fan/gas 4 and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add a pinch of salt, then beat in the egg and vanilla seeds. Gently beat in the flour and baking powder, then n chill for an hour. The dough will keep in the fridge for several days if necessary.

2 Roll the dough out on a floured surface until about 4mm thick. Cut out shapes as desired, then transfer to the lined baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

For the button biscuits

Makes 18

Roll out the dough, and using a 7cm cutter, cut out 18 circles and place on the baking sheets. Take a 6cm round cutter and carefully place on top of the biscuit and press lightly to make an indentation. Cut out two holes in the centre of each biscuit – we used a plain piping nozzle (size P6). Bake as above and thread with twine or ribbon once cooled.

For the fluted iced biscuits

Makes 18

Roll out the dough, and using a 7cm fluted cutter, cut out 18 biscuits. Bake as above and cool. Mix 100g icing sugar with a little water to make a thick icing. Spread over the top of the biscuits and decorate with chopped pistachios, chopped dried cranberries and mini chocolate stars.

For the jammy star biscuits

Makes 9

Roll out the dough, and using a 7cm cutter, cut out 18 biscuits. Place on a baking sheet and use a small star cutter in the centre of 9 of the biscuits. Bake as above and cool. Place 200g seedless raspberry jam in a saucepan and simmer until thickened. Allow to cool slightly. Spoon over the base of 9 biscuits and place a star biscuit on top of each. Press down lightly and leave to cool. Arrange in a tissue paper-lined box – Paperchase and Hobbycraft have a great selection.

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