Christmas is around the corner! With lockdown 2.0 in full swing in the UK, it feels like we have to work extra hard to get in the festive spirit. Baking always feels Christmassy, and it’s one of the few fun things to do when stuck at home, so we decided to make our own sugar cookies recipe.
We had some snowflake cookie cutters but we fancied baking something even more epic too! We found a fab star-shaped cookie cutter set from Lakeland, designed to look like a Christmas tree when you stack the stars, and we were thrilled with how it turned out. This recipe makes enough dough for 12 snowflakes and a medium-sized star tree. You’re supposed to make two stars of each size, but since we wanted to make snowflake biscuits too, it didn’t quite leave enough so we’re calling our star tree “medium” for this reason, even though it was still pretty tall.
For the sugar biscuits –
- 255 g vegan butter
- 225g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1.5 tbsp cornflour
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 480g all purpose/white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking ppowder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Choose a flavour –
- Coffee – 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp water (beat into the butter mixture)
- Chocolate – 80g cocoa powder (add the cocoa powder to the butter & sugar mixture to whisk)
- Lemon – zest from 1 lemon & 2 tbsp lemon juice (add the lemon juice after mixing the butter & sugar, then mix the zest into the plain flour before adding)
- Spiced – 2 tsps cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg (add the spices to the plain flour)
For the icing –
- 270g Icing sugar
- 3.5 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
This method is for making plain vanilla flavoured biscuits. If you’d like to make either coffee, chocolate, lemon or spice flavoured biscuits, use the list in the ingredients to work in the extra step when baking. Remember, your dough should look a little crumbly but feel soft and squishy when it’s ready to go in the fridge. If your dough isn’t quite right after adding the extra ingredients for flavour, just sift in 10g of flour at a time until it’s the right consistency. If it’s too dry (for example, due to the cocoa powder), simply add almond milk by the teaspoon until it’s just right.
Beat the butter in a large bowl until it’s soft and creamy. If you can, use an electric whisk. We used a handheld one which is much slower to use and fiddly to clean. Next, add the sugar and mix for another couple of minutes until fully combined.
Add the milk and vanilla extract and give it a big ol’ whisk again. Once mixed, add half of the flower (240g) and combine before adding the salt and baking powder. It’s good practice to not add salt directly on top of baking powder, and vice versa, as this can kill the yeast too soon. For this reason I suggest adding these ingredients to separate parts of the bowl.
Add the remainder of the flour and combine well with a whisk or by hand to form a large, smooth ball of dough. This should be fairly firm but not too dry and definitely not wet. It may look a little crumbly in the bowl but it should feel squishy like Play Doh when you pick it up.
Roll this dough out onto a flat and floured surface. Try to ensure that the dough is fairly even with no areas that are much thinner or thicker than others. One rolled out, place in the fridge for an hour. Our fridge is tiny, so I split the dough and made two separate sheets. I then laid the sheets of dough on top of each other, separated by parchment paper.
Once an hour has passed, remove the dough from the fridge, and begin crafting your biscuits. This is the fun bit!
To make the Christmas tree, I needed to cut at least one of every star shape and then starting with the smallest star, keep cutting more until you run out of dough. If you’re doing what we did & are making other kinds of biscuits to accompany your star tower, be sure to cut these out as you go along so that you don’t run out of dough. The order should be to cut at least one star in each size first, then when you reroll the dough to cut more, alternate between the small stars and other shapes you are making, until you run out.
Before you assemble the star tree, you first need to make the icing. To do this, in a new bowl mix icing sugar, vanilla extract & milk and stir. The icing will feel almost too thick at first, but the consistency is ideal for piping onto your biscuits. Decant the icing into a piping bag and you’re ready to go!
The snowflakes were almost impossible to pipe neatly, so we just piped little blobs on the tips. For the stars I recommend piping a line around the edge of each star to create the shape, and then to go back and fill in each one. If I were to make these again, I’d buy cocktail sticks to smooth out the icing at the end – if you have them, definitely use them.
I hope you enjoy these biccies & that they help to get you in the festive spirit! Let me know in the comments if you give this recipe a go.