Meal Type: Dessert
Cook time: 10 mins
Servings: A Large Christmas Tree's worth (eat the excess for small trees!)
Pick 'em from the tree, dip 'em in your tea!
"Making edible tree decorations with my children has become a bit of a Christmas tradition. They love rolling the dough, cutting out the shapes and decorating too. I flavour these crisp, buttery biscuits with orange and cinnamon for a really festive flavour – they look so pretty on the tree but won’t last long once you’ve discovered how delicious they taste! If you have dogs (or toddlers!) – remember to hang them on the higher branches!!, Merry Christmas!" Antonia
Use any shape of biscuit cutter – You can also use this dough to make ‘stained glass’ effect biscuits – I’ve included instructions below.
- 250g self raising flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g golden caster sugar
- zest of an orange
- 1 egg
Boiled sweets (optional – for stained glass biscuits)
For the icing:
- 150g icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp. orange juice
You will need...
- A heavy duty baking tray
- Mixing bowl
- Festive Biscuit cutters
- A fine mesh cooling rack
- A rolling pin
- A cocktail stick or fine scewer
- Sift the flour and cinnamon into a large bowl and then rub in the butter until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs. You can also use an electric whisk for this. Add the sugar, egg and orange zest and bring the mixture together using your hands. Pat into a smooth disc and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half (you will need to bake in batches) and roll out to the depth of a pound coin. Cut shapes out of the dough and carefully place on the baking sheet. Using a cocktail stick, make a hole in the dough for threading a ribbon through.
- In a 2-oven Aga range cooker: place baking sheet on a grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven with the cold shelf on the second runner and bake for 10 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly golden. In a 3 or 4-oven Aga range cooker: bake in the middle of the baking oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Whilst still on the baking sheet, check that the holes haven’t closed up – whist the biscuits are still soft, use the cocktail stick to carefully ‘re-open’ or enlarge any holes that are in need! Cool briefly on the baking sheet (the biscuits will firm up as they cool) and then remove to a wire rack until completely cold.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- When biscuits are cool, sift the icing sugar and mix with a little orange juice until you have a fairly thick, pipe-able icing. Scrape into a piping bag with a thin nozzle and decorate your biscuits as you like! Thread ribbon through the holes and hang on the tree.
For stained glass effect biscuits:
Use a smaller cutter to cut a shape in the centre of each biscuit (I find simple, rounded shapes work best – circles or hearts). Crush a few boiled sweets with a rolling pin and fill the holes with a few pieces of crushed sweets. Bake as normal – leave on the baking sheet a little longer for the sweets to solidify once you have removed from the oven.
I use the Blake and Bull heavy duty baking tray for my biscuits.This has a naturally non-stick finish and so there is no need to line the tray if you making the basic biscuits. If you are making the stained glass biscuits, a silicone baking sheet (or greaseproof paper) is essential.
I suggest using regular icing sugar for these biscuits – this is fine for a simple pattern. If you want to do something more intricate, use royal icing sugar which will result in a firmer icing. For children, the readymade icing pouches available in all supermarkets are very easy to use too.