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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24th Dec, 2011
Poolio, I think almond would be lovely. I was not keen on the vanilla personally. I used a magimix food processor and did not need to add any more milk or water. I rolled out the dough on a floured surface, kept the rolling pin floured and sprinkled flour over the top of the dough before and during rolling. This all meant that the dough did not stick to the surface or pin. Keep turning the dough around, and turn it over a couple of times during the rolling for good effects. Also, try dividing the dough in half or thirds to roll out, which makes it easier. This time I am making bitesize cookies. I might pipe some for a nice shape. Half vanilla covered in white chocolate and half with mixed spice, orange oil and orange zest.
22nd Dec, 2011
They melt in the mouth. The true star of Ready Steady shines again!
21st Dec, 2011
oh dear...i bought almond extract instead of vanilla....would this be ok or would they taste like puke? im new to baking
19th Dec, 2011
Way too flaky, will try again by adding water and toning down the sugar. fingers crossed
19th Dec, 2011
We have just made these cookies and they are yummy. We made half the amount with the whole egg yolk and they turned out great! We have made just over 30 toddler sized cookies with half the mix. All my little boy can say is 'can I have another one?' and we haven't even decorated them yet!
14th Dec, 2011
I am not an experienced baker, but found this cookie recipe easy and instantly adaptable. (I streaked the biscuits with melted white chocolate instead of icing and added decorations to that.) I took the advice of a previous cook and used the whole egg, not just the yolk, and this helped bind the dough. By the way, I also used a Magimix and the dough was perfect. Another good tip from above: roll out under cling film on a good, floured board and it will not stick. Also, by making the first tray of biscuits less thick, I managed to get about 40 cookies out of these measurements. The thin ones look nice, but the fatter ones are more fun to eat. (Don't put them too close together, as they expand even in the short cooking time!)
12th Dec, 2011
I accidently melted butter in microwave so my mixutre was certainly not dry. But the cookies turned out fab and made wonderful gifts for everyones teacher for chrissie. Love it, will be making another batch for sure.
4th Dec, 2011
These were a dream to bake. Were so easy and taste wonderful. Has to be the best cookie recipe I ever tried. Will say the dough is a little sticky so my tip is to chill for 1 hour and roll out between 2 sheets of cling film. I had no trouble with it what so ever. Will be making these for the end of term this year for the kids to take and share with their friends.
25th Aug, 2011
These were absolutely delicious. I tried these with a buttery margarine....the dough was flaky but when chilled was manageable. rolled and cut them out on wax paper. Decorated with m&ms and colored icing....a real treat :) Disappeared in office in no time at all. Thanks for the recipe! it is a definite keeper!
26th Dec, 2010
The yolk wasn't sticking the dough together at all, so I added the egg white to the mixture - much better! The biscuits actually took about 35-40 mintes to bake, but they turned out really well. These biscuits are so easy make and I'm definitely going to make another batch soon.


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