Christmas tree biscuits

What better way to decorate your Christmas tree than with Nigella Lawson's cinnamon biscuits?
By Nigella Lawson
Christmas tree biscuits
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 30 biscuits
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g soft dark brown sugar
  • 300 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp clear honey

For the icing and trimmings

  • 300 g royal icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • gold or silver sugar balls or sprinkles
  • Florist's ribbon, or wire for hanging

Method

1. Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.

2. Place the butter and sugar in a clean bowl and mix together vigorously with a wooden spoon until the colour and texture of the mixture becomes pale.

3. Place the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and add the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and freshly ground black pepper. Blend the mixture. While the food processor is blending, gradually pour the eggs and honey down the funnel of the food processor's lid into the bowl until a dough has formed (you may not require all of the liquid if the dough has come together before it is used up). If the dough is too dry add a little water to the mixture. If the dough is too wet add a little flour to the mixture.

4. Halve the dough. Wrap one half of the dough in cling film, place it into a freezer bag, and place it into the fridge.

5. Place the other half of the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough, with a rolling pin, into a disc to about 0.5cm thick.

6. Using a set of Christmas biscuit cutters, cut Christmas decoration shapes out of the dough. Re-roll the remaining dough and cut out more shapes until the dough is used up. Remove the second half of the dough from the fridge and repeat this process.

7. With the pointed end of a small icing nozzle, puncture a hole just below the top of each decoration (through which ribbon or wire can later be threaded to hang them).

8. Arrange the decorations on a baking sheet lined with a layer of reusable silicon baking parchment and cook for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through and golden-brown in colour. Transfer the decorations to a wire rack to cool.

9. Prepare the icing according to the packet instructions (the icing texture should be liquid enough to be easy to apply but thick enough not to run off the decorations).

10. Ice the decorations using a teaspoon (use the tip of the spoon for dripping the icing onto the decoration and the back of the teaspoon for smoothing).

11. Sprinkle the gold or silver balls over the decorations and press them gently onto the icing. Cut the ribbon into short lengths and thread the ribbon through the holes in the decorations. Tie the decorations to what ever needs decorating with the ribbon.

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