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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2nd Oct, 2013
Great recipe which worked a treat. They taste lovely and buttery and sweet..a touch of luxury. Half the mixture made over 30 hearts, stars and flower shapes for grand-daughter's birthday. I'll freeze the rest of the dough for later. ..Christmas maybe?
Jessie M
21st Sep, 2013
5 Stars! I've just made these and am so delighted with the result that I had to rate them straight away! Very easy recipe and the finished biscuits, to me, are like a shortbread cross with a vanilla biscuit. Will be making these for all occasions! Am also going to try adding a touch of almond extract next time.
19th Mar, 2013
Wanting to make these quickly, and not wanting to wait for my butter to get to room temperature, I melted it in the microwave. I didnt have any problems with the dough being to crumbly.. so this may be the answer if you're not wanting to add milk to the mix.
19th Dec, 2012
made these last year and the family couldn't get enough of them. Also made them for the children's school Christmas parties and was asked if there was any more as they ran out really quickly! Planning to make more this year with the children for them to give to their teacher's as gifts
17th Dec, 2012
I followed the recipe to a t and the biscuits came out perfectly. Very similar to shortbread in taste with a slightly less crumbly consistency. I experimented with size and thickness and came out with at least 30 biscuits ranging from about 2 to 6 cm diameter in snowflake shapes, and found the larger, thicker biscuits to be the best. Very easy to make the dough, even by hand rather than mixer, I did not find it to be too flaky as some have commented. Delicious and indulgent, they'll be a perfect Christmas gift, iced and decorated, for my neighbours. I'm sure I'll be making some for myself in the near future!
11th Dec, 2012
5 stars with our adaptations! Add cinnamon to the cookie dough and nutmeg & cinnamon to the icing for a real taste of Christmas! Marbling the icing on the cookies gives a really nice look too. Little ones and big ones alike will just love these wonderfully festive treats.
10th Nov, 2012
They were tasty, but expand very quickly in the oven and are much too buttery. I would put no more than 100g of butter personally
17th Mar, 2012
These cookies are so yummy and moreish my partner loves them
27th Dec, 2011
Fantastic biscuits - very much a beginner and these turned out so great my mother-in-law has asked for the recipe :) Found the advice about adding milk very helpful
24th Dec, 2011
Don't forget to keep them in an airtight bag or container as they go soft quickly. Great light shortbread-like texture to these biscuits though. I'll try lemon zest and juice in them next time.


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