Edible gifts: Orange shortbread stars recipe

For an extra festive hit, you can add a pinch of ground cinnamon or mixed spice along with the flour.

Ellis Parrinder


110g unsalted butter, softened
60g caster sugar
1 orange, zest
1⁄4 tsp fine salt
170g plain flour

80g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp orange juice (use the juice from the zested orange, or use water or milk)
Edible gold or silver balls

  1. Using electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the orange zest and salt, then sift in the flour and use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine to a smooth paste.
  2. Bring the dough together in your hands, pat it out to a circle about 1cm thick, then wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 1⁄2; line a large baking tray with parchment. Remove the dough from the fridge and place between two sheets of parchment. Roll out to about 3mm thick. Remove the top layer of parchment and stamp out the biscuits using star-shaped cutters, then transfer to the lined baking tray. (You may need to bake the biscuits in batches.) Re-roll any scraps to make more biscuits, chilling the dough if it becomes too soft.
  4. Bake for 10-14 minutes until light golden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the icing, combine the icing sugar and orange juice (or water or milk) until you have a thick, smooth icing. Transfer to a small piping bag to decorate the stars. Edible silver or gold balls look nice and festive, too.

Food styling: Sarah Hardy. Prop styling: Max Robinson