Christmas shortbread biscuits

Decorate these gorgeous Christmas biscuits with candied orange peel, flaked almonds or freeze-dried raspberries. Star- or tree-shaped cutters also work well

Serves 20


275g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp ground mixed spice, ground cinnamon or ground cardamom (optional)
150g salted butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks, beaten (freeze the extra whites to use in another recipe)
For the white chocolate topping
100g white chocolate, roughly chopped
15g crystallised ginger, chopped, or dried cranberries, chopped
For the dark chocolate topping
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
15g flaked almonds or shelled pistachios, thinly sliced


Mix the flour, sugar and spice (if using) together. Either rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips, or pulse the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture starts to come together into a dough. Stir or pulse in the egg yolks. If the mixture is dry, add 1 tsp cold water and mix again until it comes together. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 mins.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. Roll the dough out between two large sheets of parchment to a ½cm thickness. Stamp out biscuits using a 6½cm round or shaped cutter, re-rolling the off-cuts until all the dough has been used (you should get about 20 in total). Bake for 8-10 mins until the biscuits are starting to turn golden at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (ensure the bowl doesn’t touch the water), or in the microwave in 30-second bursts. Repeat with the dark chocolate. Dip half of 10 of the biscuits into the white chocolate, put on baking trays lined with parchment and sprinkle over the ginger or cranberries. Repeat with the remaining biscuits and dark chocolate, sprinkling over the almonds or pistachios instead. Leave to set at room temperature or in the fridge. Will keep in an airtight container for a week.