Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Shortbread Stars

Whilst browsing through Cox & Cox I came across the brown sugar hearts pictured below and thought they were utterly adorable. When I first caught sight of them though I thought they were cookies and my heart sank a bit when I realised they were sugar lumps. I don't take sugar in my tea and I like my coffee only barely sweet.

Picture of brown sugar heart taken from Cox & Cox

The disappointment however inspired me to create my own cookies for perching so cutely off the side of a mug. I found a recipe for a basic vanilla shortbread dough and set about on my plan. With Christmas fast approaching (yes I know I know, but it is almost December now and I can't help but be excited) I thought why not be a bit seasonal and decided to go for stars rather than hearts. For added Christmas cheer I divided my batch of dough into two and added orange zest to one of them.

Carefully cutting nicks into my stars of dough I kept my fingers crossed this would work. The last thing I wanted was for their little arms to snap off after baking but as you can see they hung on in there! There were a couple of casualties but needless to say, they weren't wasted. The trick is to mould them slightly to your mug before they go in the oven. I've presented these with a mug of tea but I'd imagine they'd be just as happy clinging onto the side of desserts as well waiting to dive in! Countless biscuit recipes would lend themselves well to the idea. I can see ginger snaps with servings of vanilla ice cream... brazil nut biscuits with warm chocolate pots... elegant shortbread (again) with glasses of summery desserts of berries and cream... and homely oat cookie-bites on ramekins of stewed autumn fruits and custard.

The recipe made a nice crumbly shortbread. If I had dried cranberries or chopped almonds I think they would have complemented the zest very well. The basic vanilla ones were not as buttery as I would have liked but still very moreish nonetheless.

I'm really chuffed with how the idea turned out. Now mugs can enjoy getting into the festive spirit too. And looking at these pictures I wonder how cute the stars would have been had I iced smiley faces onto them!


Anonymous said...

Inspired! They're very cool.

Margaret said...

What a fabulous idea!!

c+j said...

Thank you, I had fun making them!

Jules said...

Fantasic biscuits!