Snowy owl Christmas tree biscuits

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 8 mins - 14 mins


Makes about 6 large, 5 medium and 8 small owls (depending on cutter size)

Great British Bake Off 2013 winner Frances Quinn created these edible decorations topped with white and dark chocolate and almond 'feathers'

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (small)

  • kcal590
  • fat36g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars31g
  • fibre3g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.4g
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    For the biscuits

    • 125g slightly salted butter, softened
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 250g plain flour

    For the decoration

    • 100g packet of whole blanched almond


      arr-mund or al-mund

      Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

    • 100g packet of flaked almond, toasted


      arr-mund or al-mund

      Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

    • 126g packet of giant white chocolate button
    • 20g packet standard-sized white chocolate button
    • 50g dark chocolate chip
    • gold edible glitter (optional)
    • icing sugar, for dusting
    • fine string, for hanging the biscuits


    1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Cream together the butter and sugar, then gradually beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Sift and stir in the flour and mix to a fairly soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Cover or wrap the dough and chill for at least two hours.

    2. Next roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to around 0.5cm thick. Cut into oval shapes with a cookie cutter or by cutting round a paper template. You can make mini owl biscuits by using a smaller cutter or template.

    3. Transfer the biscuits to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Put different sized biscuits on separate trays. Place the whole almonds into the dough to create the owls' eyebrows and beaks. If creating decorations for the tree, make a hole near the top of the biscuits using the end of a paintbrush. Bake in the oven for 8 - 14 minutes, depending on the size of the biscuits, until the edges turn lightly golden in colour. Once out of the oven, leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool.

    4. To decorate, set aside enough white chocolate buttons to create the owls' eyes - use giant or standard-sized buttons depending on the size of the owls - the biggest you can fit are best to give a truly owl-like expression. Melt the remainder in the microwave or in a bowl over barely simmering water.

    5. Using a small tipped paintbrush, carefully paint and stick down the decorations. Stick on the white chocolate buttons, then the dark chocolate chips on top to make the eyes. Neatly paint more melted chocolate over each owl's chest, pressing on the flaked almonds. You can layer the almonds with extra white chocolate.

    6. If you find some of the almond eyebrows and beaks have come loose or you are planning to hang the owls on the tree, use some of the melted chocolate to stick them in place. Leave to set.

    7. Thread pretty string or fine ribbon into Christmas decorations so you can hang them. Dust with icing sugar and gold edible glitter if using.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    23rd Dec, 2014
    Look good but flavorless.
    5th Feb, 2014
    this biscuits are them
    22nd Dec, 2013
    These biscuits are fun to make and look impressively cute. We used icing to attach the eyes and feathers, piped from a bag. Quick and easy! Watch out though, we ended up with 21 owls not 8! Not a problem when they look so good...
    22nd Dec, 2013
    we used eggwash to put on the flaked almond feathers before baking and that worked very well, all stayed on
    22nd Dec, 2013
    totally awesome to make and my kids had a great laugh making the owls have wonky eyes
    21st Dec, 2013
    Easy and so cute! I used a toothpick to put a drop of white chocolate behind the chocolate drops - easier than the brush unless you have a really fine one. Also, I would recommend preparing the flaked almonds before melting the white chocolate. Not a lot in my packet had retained their feather-like appearance due to being broken, and it took me a bit of time to find some I could use.
    21st Dec, 2013
    I followed the decorating instructions for these, using gingerbread dough instead, and they were fantastic. Looked very impressive! Photos on my blog at:
    20th Dec, 2013
    Lovely biscuits, I used almond essence as I prefer it and I think it goes better with the almond theme. The kids love decorating the owls (some of them did not look very owl like though!) and the ones done by the adults really did look good.
    13th Dec, 2013
    Made the biscuits but not the decoration. Yum and easy to do.
    5th Dec, 2014
    I really loved making these biscuits, very easy and very tasty. The almonds when roasted are so so good! Just have one question about the calorie content it says at the top, surely there can't be 590 cals in one biscuit?!
    goodfoodteam's picture
    5th Dec, 2014
    Hi AlanaK the nutrional analysis was done based on the mixture creating just 6 very large biscuits. However, if you are concerned about the calorie content, the mixture would be absolutely fine to use to create a larger quantity of smaller biscuits, just keep an eye on them as the smaller versions will cook more rapidly. 
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