Christmas Tree Shortbread Biscuits

Seeing as we’re less than one month away from Christmas, I thought I’d share some awesomeness on the blog. These are Vanilla Christmas Tree Shortbread Biscuits that I made last year just before the Christmas break. As I was taking them into work for my colleagues just before the holidays, I figured it was a bit too late to share the recipe on the blog at the time. So I’ve saved it until now so you can also make them in time for Christmas!

This recipe is from the wonderful Kerry Cooks and I haven’t had to change any of it because it’s great. All I did was decorate the Christmas trees to look like they had baubles on them and everyone loved it. I actually doubled this recipe because I needed to make a big batch, but the instructions below will make approximately 12. Excuse my bright pink mixing bowl – I wasn’t thinking about the photos when I made this last year!

So go on… give them a go. The minimum effort is totally worth it. They also make fantastic gifts for absolutely anyone, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a biscuit?

Ingredients (makes approx. 12):

250g Butter

250g Golden Caster Sugar

2 Large Eggs

500g Plain Flour

1 tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste

Green Gel Food Colouring

50g White Chocolate

Sprinkles

You will also need:

Circle and Christmas Tree Shaped Cookie Cutters

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F and prepare 2 or 3 large trays/cookie sheets with baking or parchment paper.

2) To make the shortbread dough, mix the soft butter with the sugar, then add the vanilla bean paste and eggs and give it a whisk with your mixer. IMG_5224

3) Add your flour in (you can sift it if you like) and give it another mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and it forms a slightly stiff dough mixture.IMG_5227

IMG_52304) Divide the mixture in half and add a few drops of your green food colouring to one half of the mixture. This really depends on what type of gel you’re using, so I would only add a little at first to see how intense it is. Everybody has a different preference and it really doesn’t change much colour in the baking process, so beware of adding too much. Mix and knead the dough until the colour is fully incorporated.IMG_5235

IMG_52365) Gather the dough and form a flat square like shape (I believe this helps rolling it out later). Put some cling film around both of them and pop into the the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.
IMG_5233

IMG_5239

6) Flour your surface and roll out your plain dough first. The thickness is upto you, but I’d say mine was just a bit thicker than a £1 coin. Use a round cookie cutter of your choice, but make sure it is bigger than your smallest tree cookie cutter. Use a spatula to lift these off the surface and place them on your tray.IMG_5244

7) Place your small tree cookie cutter in the centre of each round biscuit and carefully cut out and lift the small tree middle. You really need to do this part gently in order to not move the biscuits around too much otherwise these will be stretched and misshaped. That will make it hard to swap in the green tree shape later, so I would advise that you push the cutter down harder before attempting to lift it out.IMG_52458) Roll your green dough out to the same thickness as the plain dough and use your small tree cookie cutter to carefully cut out the tree and lift off the surface using a small spatula or palette knife. IMG_52519) Place the green trees in the centre of the large biscuit circles and gently press them in to fit properly, making sure there aren’t any big gaps. IMG_525710) Bake for 10 – 14 minutes, keeping a close eye on them because the temperate varies in every oven. These aren’t really meant to get that brown, so they’ll be done quicker than you think. Once they’re done, take them out and carefully place them on cooling racks. As you can see, I made different ones with the leftover dough. If I had wanted to, I could’ve gathered the cut offs and rolled out another batch. But by this point, I had the amount I was looking for, so these were just bonuses! IMG_5271

IMG_527311) Once totally cooled, get decorating! Melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in quick 10 second bursts until it’s melted. Use a spoon or the end of a butter knife to drizzle the white chocolate on the Christmas tree to form the ‘tinsel’. Get your sprinkles and be as neat or messy as you like – after all, it’s your Christmas tree! I am a bit of an annoying perfectionist, so I wanted to make sure the different colours were fairly distributed… haha. IMG_5278

IMG_5293And there you have it, a batch of vanilla flavoured Christmas tree shortbread biscuits that not only look beautiful, but taste great! IMG_5317As I mentioned before, they also make great Christmas gifts, so put them in food bags and tie a ribbon and that’s one less gift to think about! Let me know how you get on 🙂 IMG_5301

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