Sparkling vanilla Christmas cookies

Sparkling vanilla Christmas cookies

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(50 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 12 mins Plus chilling time


Makes 20 biscuits

Hang these from a Christmas tree or pack them into boxes as end-of-term gifts for teachers and friends.

Nutrition and extra info

  • uncooked dough only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal233
  • fat11g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs34g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre1g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 140g icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250g butter, cut into small cubes



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 375g plain flour, sieved

To decorate

  • 200g icing sugar, sieved
  • edible food colouring, optional
  • edible gold and silver balls
  • approx 2m thin ribbon cut into 10cm lengths


  1. Tip the icing sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolk and butter into a mixing bowl, then stir together with a wooden spoon (or pulse in a food processor until well combined). Add the flour and mix to a firm dough. Shape the dough into two flat discs and wrap them. Chill for 20-30 mins. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

  2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of two £1 coins. Cut out Christmassy shapes (use a cutter if you like) and place on the baking sheets. Using the tip of a skewer, cut a small hole in the top of each cookie. Bake for 10-12 mins until lightly golden.

  3. Lift the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar with a few drops of cold water to make a thick, but still runny icing. Colour with edible food colouring, if you like. Spread it over the cooled biscuits, decorate with edible balls and thread with ribbon when dry.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Nov, 2019
Really delicious recipe. I used it for Halloween treats and they were a big hit!
17th Jan, 2017
Easy to make. I did add a splash of milk though. Fun way to spend a rainy afternoon with the kids.
20th Dec, 2016
I baked it yesterday to bring to work. I think my cookie cutters are slightly less as it turned out to be a lot of cookies(around 50). I only put 70 grams of sugar because I wanted to decorate them with icing. I didn't need to put any milk, the dough was fine, a bit sticky, but the fridge fixed it. From start to almost finish it took me 2,5 hours. I still have around 15 cookies to decorate.. It tastes very good and everyone at work loves it!
27th Dec, 2015
Simple, tasty and very easy. Made them in a food processor - just added a splash of milk to make dough easier to bind. Took a few minutes longer than recommended.
10th Mar, 2014
Nice, easy recipe and great for making and decorating with kids!
20th Dec, 2013
Turned out well in the end, but as people have said below, I had to add some milk to the mixture to get it to stick together and also baked for much longer than stated as they were still raw inside after 12 minutes. This recipe makes LOADS of biscuits so next time I might half it. I made snowflakes with icing and silver balls and everyone who had one enjoyed!
15th Dec, 2013
I'm only 13 but love to bake and trying these cookies was a great idea, giving it to my friends tomorrow to see what their verdict is. But I personally love them, especially for this time of year x
14th Dec, 2013
As a biscuit novice, I was delighted that these biscuits were successful first time. And they taste lovely. I added a bit of mixed spice so I can call them Christmas biccies and give as gifts. Haven't added the icing sugar as they are sweet enough. Might drizzle a bit of dark choc on them as a finishing touch.
TwinMummyMo's picture
10th Dec, 2013
Great recipe. Never make biscuits so this was uncharted waters for me but they worked out very well and I made two batches for a children's Xmas party and the feedback was very good ! I would recommend using small cutters though as they big ones aren't as easy to work with and break easier. I bought a small star one and got loads from one batch and I also think as they are quite sweet a small one is enough, you can always have two anyway !
2nd Dec, 2013
I tried this recipe to day as a trial run for Christmas, and they were a disaster! I followed the recipe exactly, the mix was very floury but I persevered and got a dough in the end. After 12 minutes in the oven they still looked pale and soft so I kept them in for closer to 20, then I started to gently transfer them to a wire rack and they just crumbled! I put them back in the oven but it was no use, I ended up with a pile of cookie crumbs. A couple that were salvageable just disintegrated in your mouth. I threw the second batch away without cooking them. Such a waste of time and expense :(


17th Nov, 2013
How long do these keep in an airtight container if made as gifts?
2nd Oct, 2013
Has anyone tried freezing these already iced? It says 'freezable' on the recipe.
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