Star cookies

Preparation time:
30 mins plus 20 mins chilling time and 1 hour setting time
Cooking time:
10 mins
Makes:
about 12 cookies
Rating:
These star cookies are a great Christmas treat.
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Ingredients

160g unsalted butter
2 tsp rum essence
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups plain flour, sifted
½ tsp baking powder
Extra flour, for kneading
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
1 quantity royal icing (see right)
Tiny silver cachous, to decorate
Notes

Royal icing

- To make 1 cup Royal icing: Put 1 eggwhite in a medium mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the eggwhite thins and starts to froth on top. Sift 1¼ cups pure icing sugar onto a sheet of baking paper. Add 1 tablespoon icing sugar to the eggwhite and beat until combined. Continue adding icing sugar in this way, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is thick and stiff peaks form when spoon is pulled from mixture. Spoon icing into a clean, small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

- Royal icing must be kept covered at all times as it dries out quickly, and is best used on the day it is made. Store in a cool, dry place – do not refrigerate. Royal icing can be coloured with food colourings, available at all supermarkets.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Beat butter and essence in the small bowl of an electric mixer until pale. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, then add egg and beat until combined. Add flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Wrap dough in baking paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. Roll out dough to 5mm thick and cut out shapes with a star cutter. Arrange stars on prepared trays, 5cm apart, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until pale golden. Stand trays on wire racks to cool.

4. To decorate cookies, add enough lemon juice to royal icing to give the consistency of thickened cream. Using a teaspoon and a toothpick, spoon and spread icing onto each star. Stand for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle with silver cachous. Stand for 1 hour to set.

Cook’s tips

- Uniced stars can be frozen for up to three weeks; thaw before icing.

- Iced and decorated stars will keep for up to four days in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.

  • Author:
  • Stylist: Mary Harris
  • Photographer: Chris L Jones

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