Makes 12
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Fragrant, nutty and buttery shortbread cookies cut into little Christmas trees, sandwiched with aromatic brandy butter cream. Add silver dragees for a bit of sparkle fitting for the occasion.


  • 250 g butter, softened
  • 2 tsps finely grated orange rind
  • ½ cup (80 g) icing (confectioners') sugar
  • 2 tbsps rice flour
  • 2 cups (300 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 tsps mixed spice
  • ¼ cup (75 ml) ground hazelnuts
  • Silver cachous, to decorate
  • 1 tbsp icing (confectioners') sugar, extra


  • 60 g butter, softened
  • ½ tsp finely grated orange rind
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. cup (120 g) icing (confectioners') sugar
  • 2 tsps brandy

Beat butter, rind and sifted icing sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in sifted flours and spice, and ground hazelnuts, in two batches.


Knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Roll dough between sheets of baking paper until 5 mm thick; refrigerate 30 mins.


Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.


Using 3 cm, 5 cm and 7 cm star-shaped cutters, cut 24 of each size star from dough. Place small stars, about 1 cm apart, on an oven tray; place remaining stars, about 2 cm apart, on oven trays.


Bake small stars about 10 mins. Bake larger stars about 15 mins. Stand 5 mins; cool on wire racks.


Meanwhile, make brandy butter cream: beat butter, rind, sifted icing sugar and brandy in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.


Sandwich two of each size cookie with butter cream. Assemble trees by joining three different size stars together with butter cream.


Secure cachous to stars with a tiny dot of butter cream. Dust trees with extra sifted icing sugar.

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