In many countries it is traditional to bake biscuits for Christmas. If you wrap them up nicely they can make a nice present and many people are really pleased to receive homemade biscuits.
Walking into town the other day I went into my favourite kitchen shop and looked for some star shapes.
So I made, with the help of my little one, some star biscuits using the recipe for "Canestrelli".
Canestrelli are Italian biscuits, typical of the Liguria region, usually in the shape of a flower; they are delicate, vanilla flavoured and deliciously buttery and they melt in your mouth. They are usually finished off with a generous dust of vanilla icing sugar.
It is similar to making shortcrust pastry. In order to achieve a good result all the ingredients should be cold from the fridge and incorporated quickly together to avoid heating them up too much with your hands. The result will be a biscuit that's crunchy outside and soft on the inside.
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 25 minutes
Sieve the flour and the corn flour on your working top.
Add the icing sugar, the salt, the egg yolks, the vanilla essence, lemon zest and the softened butter.
Work your ingredients quickly, make it into a dough and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the pastry with a rolling pin about half a centimeter thick.
With a pastry cutter shape some stars and line them up on a baking tray ( I am using a silicone sheet on my baking tray so I don't need to grease it, but if you are using a conventional one you will need to grease it with butter or oil).
Brush each star with the whipped egg whites
Cook for 20-25 minutes at 160 C. Keep checking them whilst they are cooking as they should not get too brown, just a little.
Dust them with vanilla icing sugar.