The hidden treats in these buttery, vanilla biscuits make them fun for little ones to make, shake and eat. Make sure to use mini sweets to fill.
You’ll need a rolling pin, large star cutter (7.5cm) and a smaller one plus circular or square cutter approx 2-3cm diameter rolling pin
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture, mix until combined and then pull together with your hands and knead into a ball. It will be sticky so add a little extra flour if needed.
- Divide the dough in half, wrap both pieces in cling film, pressing them out into discs about one inch thick and refrigerate at least one hour until firm.
- Sprinkle your worktop with flour. If the dough is very sticky, you can roll it between 2 large sheets of baking parchment.
- Roll until about ½ cm thick then refrigerate for 30 minutes while you roll out the second piece.
- Line 2-3 baking sheets (that fit in your fridge) with baking parchment. Cut stars out of the first piece of dough, rerolling the scraps to cut more stars. Place on the baking sheets with at least 4cm between them. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
- Each piñata needs three cookies — one with the middle cut out. Use the small circular cutter – the top of an icing nozzle is perfect – to cut a circle from the centre of 1/3rd of the stars. You can bake the circles or reroll to make more stars.
- Refrigerate on the baking sheet for about 30 minutes until firm. Preheat oven to 160°C (fan).
- Bake for 10-14 minutes until slightly golden on the edges and underneath. Keep an eye on them as they can brown quickly - especially if on the thin side.
- Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack. When completely cool, take two regular stars and one with a cut out.
- Pipe icing around the edges on the underside of one cookie. Top with the cut-out star then fill the hole with a layer of sweets. Pipe icing around the edges of the third cookie and place that on top of the cut-out one. Press gently but firmly to stick together.
- To decorate: roll out blue and white fondant icing to 1-2mm-thickness and cut out stars of different sizes. Smear a little water on the underside of the icing with a brush or fingertip before placing them on so they stick. (Or use white icing and cut thin strips of blue icing.)