Citrus Shortbread Stars with At Home with Mrs. H

Hi there Sugar Tart Crafters!
I’m Samantha, I live in Wales and I’ve got a tutorial for you today to make some citrus shortbread stars.
Apparently I’m an over-achiever because I couldn’t leave well alone, but had to form them into a Christmas tree shape!
Citrus Shortbread Star Trees : At home with Mrs. H
This recipe is not difficult, in fact it’s adapted from my Usborne Children’s book of baking! This is a very hands on recipe, 
so get the little ones involved, and there’s no egg, so it doesn’t matter if a bit of raw dough goes missing!
I don’t always measure out my ingredients in advance, but when I do, I choose pink lids to match my hostess’ blog!
You’ll need a non stick baking tray, a wooden spoon, star shaped cookie cutters and a rolling pin.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 175g (1 1/4 Cups) of plain flour
  • 25g (2tbsp) of semolina or ground rice. 
  •  100g (1/2 Cup) of unsalted butter
  • 3tbsp of orange juice – fresh is best, but carton is fine
  • 50g (1/4 Cup) of caster sugar. 
Before we go any further, let’s talk sugar. We have granulated, caster then icing sugar. I think you have super-fine sugar instead of caster, and powdered instead of icing sugar. You basically want sugar that’s finer than granulated, but not powdered. Clear as mud, right?
For the icing:
  • 63g (1/2 Cup) Icing or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp of water
  • 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 170C (325F) or Gas Mark 4. If your tray is not non-stick, grease it now.
First step is to sieve the flour & semolina together into a large bowl.
Next, cut up your butter into chunks and toss it in. 
Using a wooden spoon coat the butter well with the flour mix.
Next it’s time to get your hands in! You have to, it’s the law.
Rub the butter between your fingers working the butter into the flour. 
Do this until you have a bowl of fine breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle over the orange juice and then using your spoon mix it together. 
You should have larger breadcrumbs forming.
Next you’ll need to get one hand back in the bowl, and whilst holding the side of the bowl, 
use your hand to squish the dough together into one lump.
This may take a couple of minutes, but it’s the warmth of your hand 
which makes it stick together so keep going, no matter how crumbly you think it is!
Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and rolling pin, then tip your ball of dough out.
Roll the dough flat until it’s around 5mm (1/4″) thick.
Using your cookie cutters, cut whichever shapes you like. Because I wanted a set of each size,
 I made sure to cut each group together, to make sure I had enough dough.
 If you’d like to make the same tree I did, poke a hole in the centre of 
each star using the blunt end of a kebab stick. (yes, Kabob to you!)
The hole helps them to not bubble up into crazy shapes,
but more importantly helps when assembling the tree.
I had a bit of dough left over so I made my husband a few angels (to remind him of me of course!)
and some more traditional rounds. Oh, and a blob of leftover dough.
Pop the shortbread in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes. Set a timer for this, they don’t brown off. 
You want them to be a very light golden colour, and they will be a bit squidgy when you pull them out.
Leave them to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack. 
They crisp up as they cool so be careful not to snap any! (I may have lost a couple of angel heads…)
While they’re cooling mix together the icing sugar, water and lemon juice for your icing. 
The icing should be thick enough to cover the back of a spoon generously, but not be too thick to stir.
It helps if the icing is a little thicker than you would usually make glacé icing.
Take one of your larger stars and put a generous blob of icing in the centre,
over the poke hole, and a little dab on each point.
Press another star on top, making sure that icing pushes up through the poke hole. 
Add a dab of icing to each of the tips.
 Carry on layering your stars in size order. I had around 4 large stars. 
You can point them in slightly different directions to get a good tree shape.
Continue layering until you’ve put your last star on top. I had a few duplicate small stars 
(just in case they broke!) so I iced them and let them sit on the plate.
When I’d finished layering I went back over drizzling icing all over the tree and the points to give it a nice snowy feel.
I went with the ‘more is more’ school of thought! If I’d had edible glitter, it would have made an appearance too.
I hope you’ll try making these stars yourself, they don’t need to be perfect, 
and are ideal for little fingers that like to ‘help’ with baking!
Thanks for having me Toni, Merry Christmas to you and your readers!

Samantha - At Home with Mrs. H

Samantha is an independent pattern designer, who writes bag sewing patterns and stocks the hardware needed for adjustable bag straps. You can find her over on her blog, facebook page, Pinterest boards, Instagram and last but not least, her Etsy store.
(She also loves Cath Kidston, Dr. Who, and has a strong addiction to chocolate!  hehe)

Thanks so much for sharing Samantha! 
How sweet is she to match her dishes to my blog colors!
I admit, it was a struggle for me not to go through and change all her centre to center. Ha!
But it’s great to know that the leftover dough “blob” cookie is a universal thing. 
I really must get myself a copy of this precious Usborne Children’s Book of Baking though. 
I’ve seen Samantha use it before, and it seems delicious. Look at the amazing cream puffs she made from it!
And aside from Samantha’s obvious talent, she’s also one of the most sweet and funny bloggy friends I’ve made. 
You should definitely visit her blog and enjoy her awesomeness! (maybe it’s a British thing 😉

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