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Eat well for less with our regular series of quick, delicious and wallet-friendly recipes by campaigner, columnist and award-winning food writer Jack Monroe.

Christmases can feel a little all over the place for my little family; and I felt it was important to be able to establish my own small traditions, that will hopefully carry on over the next few years. The first thing that sprang to mind was tree biscuits – although I don’t have a tree to hang them on yet, so this was a trial run! Over the years to come, I plan to mark the start of the season with Small Boy with a batch of these simply spiced biscuits.

Ingredients (makes 24 assorted sizes)


First, the butter – because I make these with my son, I melt it in the microwave for a minute to make it easier to stir in. Traditionally, you would rub it into the flour with your fingertips, but once I started melting my butter in the microwave, I’ve never looked back. So whatever method you choose, you need to combine the butter and flour to form a breadcrumb consistency.

Tip in the sugar and cinnamon, and beat in the eggs to combine to form a dough.

Flour your work surface and hands, tip the dough out, and work it briefly to shape.

Roll it out, I don’t own a rolling pin, so I use a clean, empty bottle – a wine bottle, old vinegar bottle, any glass bottle will do. Roll it out to around half a centimetre thick for optimum biscuit thickness. Honest.

Cut out using your cookie cutter, or if you’re feeling radical, a blunt knife to make whatever shaped biscuits you like. (Not one to promote brands too much, but I picked up most of my novelty cookie cutters from Poundland, the 99p store, and Ikea!) If you want to hang them on the tree, make a small hole using a skewer, or the tip of a sharp knife – the hole will need to be larger than you think, as it smooshes back together in the oven a little!

Lightly grease your baking sheet, and place your cookies on top, leaving a few millimetres around them in case they spread out and all stick together. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven for 12 minutes at 180C, remove, and allow to cool.

I dredged mine very lightly with icing sugar while warm, for an extra sweet kick.

Thread string or ribbon through, and hang them on the tree…if you think they’ll last that long!

Take a look at the previous recipes in the quick and delicious series including Caribbean style chilli, salted caramel banana cake and ultimate lasagne.

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