• Sarah Rainey

Snowy shortbread stars


My amazing Grandma, who taught me to bake many years ago, used to make the world’s best shortbread. Better still, it has only three ingredients in it.

This is her recipe – light, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth delicious – with a festive twist. You can use all sorts of different-shaped cutters to make your shortbread, but at Christmas I like to cut the dough into lots of different-sized stars and then dust them with icing sugar snow.

Makes around 24 stars, various sizes

Ingredients:

200g unsalted butter, softened

125g icing sugar, plus a little extra to sprinkle

225g plain flour

You'll need: 5cm, 4cm and 3cm star-shaped cutters

Method:

Cream the butter and icing sugar together, ensuring you cover the sides of the bowl with a tea towel so the icing sugar doesn’t fly everywhere.

When fully combined, sieve in the flour and mix to a soft dough.

Bring the dough together in your hands (don’t worry if it’s a little sticky at this stage) and place it in a bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Cover two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

Take the dough out of the fridge, dust a clean dry worktop and a rolling pin with some plain flour and roll the dough to a thickness of around 1cm.

Using the star cutters, cut various-sized stars out of the dough and place them on the baking sheets around 3cm apart.

Prick each a few times with a fork before sticking the tray back in the fridge for another half hour. When time’s nearly up, preheat the oven to 150C. Bake the rounds for 35 minutes, switching the trays halfway through.

Take them out when they’re a pale golden colour – too long and they’ll go crispy. Allow to cool on a wire rack before dusting them liberally with icing sugar.

TIP: For dinner parties or as a pretty Christmas gift, you can even pile the stars on top of one another, in descending size order, to make a snow-covered tree.

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Content © Sarah Rainey

Photos © Clare Winfield, Alex Luck & Al Richardson

Styling © Emma Lahaye, Octavia Squire, Laurie Perry & Sarah Rainey

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