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Christmas shortbread stars

Christmas shortbread stars

When the tree goes up in our household, I begin to really feel like it’s Christmas and I can get excited about the whole festive season – for me, it’s about family, presents, and eating yummy treats that you don’t get the rest of the year.

It’s also when I make shortbread cookies.  There is absolutely no reason why I don’t make them more often – they are so easy and so much fun to make.  Perhaps it’s because although I tend to like making things where I can get my hands grubby, I prefer to make more savoury things, like pizza dough.

I use a recipe that a friend of mine from Australia gave me, just because of its simplicity.  There are just six ingredients.  Butter, icing sugar, vanilla, salt, plain flour and rice flour.  And because there are so few ingredients, you can really taste the quality of the ingredients you use, particularly the butter and vanilla (read: buy the best you can afford)

Rice flour is added here for added “crunch”.  I’ve read that you can replace the rice flour with cornflour for a more melt-in-your-mouth texture.

This would be a great recipe to make with kids – especially the decorating.

Merry Christmas and here’s to a new year of more eating!

Ingredients makes about 60 6cm stars

  • 250g block unsalted butter at room temperature (you can use salted butter and not add salt but I think unsalted tastes better)
  • A good tbs vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • good generous pinch of salt
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour


  1. Cream butter and sifted sugar until light and creamy
  2. Add vanilla and salt and mix well
  3. Stir in combined flours and mix with your hands to combine to a crumbly dough
  4. Turn out on to a sheet of baking paper and press into a ball.
  5. Rollout dough between two sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thick and with a star cookie cutter (or whatever shape you fancy), cut biscuits from dough and place on a baking paper-lined tray
  6. You can decorate before they go into the oven with demerara sugar and silver cachous or after by dipping into melted chocolate (although you may want to temper your chocolate first)