Darina Allen says: "This dough can be used for all kinds of shapes: round, square, rectangles, stars, hearts, teddy bears, animals, birds."


  • 175 g (6oz) plain flour
  • 75 g (3oz) butter, diced
  • 50 g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 1/2–1 egg, preferably free-range and organic, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  2. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Rub in the butter, add the caster sugar and mix well. Add in the beaten egg and mix to form a stiff dough.
  3. Turn out onto a floured board and roll out to a scant 5mm (1/4in) thickness. Cut the biscuits with the cutter of your choice. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes, depending on how thick they are. They should be pale golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. When cold, decorate as desired. We use Wilton gel colours (Leaf Green and Red-Red) to make ours festive. Dip the tip of a cocktail stick in the gel colour and blend with plain icing until your desired colour is achieved. Gel colours are quite concentrated, so be careful and start with a tiny dab of the gel. Alternatively, you could just give them a simple dusting of icing sugar, ice them with one of the icings on page 348 or sandwich them together with buttercream or jam.

Recipe taken from A Simply Delicious Christmas by Darina Allen, published by Gill and Macmillan.