Christmas ball shortbread (with only 1 round cookie cutter)

Christmas ball shortbread (with only 1 round cookie cutter)

This year, I decided to keep things simple and opted for a 100% edible Christmas tree decoration with Christmas ball shortbread. There are two reasons for this: my little one is starting to stand up and has access to the bottom of the tree. And since she puts everything in her mouth, I wanted to avoid disasters! Secondly, Christmas is a particularly polluting event and I wanted to avoid the profusion of plastic. So I opted for shortbread decorated with royal icing to decorate my Christmas tree. And the result exceeded my expectations!

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do, but no experience of it. I was a little apprehensive about the royal icing, as my previous attempts had not been very successful. So I did a little research and here’s what I came up with.

Christmas shortbread balls: the 2 steps

To make these Christmas ornaments, first make the cookies, then the icing. I got my inspiration from Lilie Bakery and these littleroyal icing cookies I’d been eyeing, and I wasn’t disappointed. However, you’ll need to allow a bit of time for this recipe, because between cooking, resting and decorating, it requires a bit of commitment!

Which dough to use for decorated shortbread cookies?

Lilie opts for a sweet pastry (which I won’t go into again, as you can find it in the article). I followed the same method for making the dough: make the dough, chill it and then roll it out. I’ve tried several methods and find that the winning combo is: balling, chilling, spreading, chilling (flat) and detailing the pieces and chilling 10 minutes before cooking. In this way, the cookies keep their shape

Shortbread Christmas balls
Shortbread Christmas balls

How to make perfect Christmas baubles?

Since I wanted to hang my shortbread on my tree, I needed a hole at the top of my cookies. As I don’t have a ball-shaped cookie cutter (my cupboards are full and I didn’t want to buy one), I improvised with what I had on hand. I used a round cookie cutter to make the body, without pressing on the top. Then, using the flared side of a socket, I traced a small circle just above it. Finally, using the small side of the socket, I flared the inside of the small circle. The result is very cool with very few utensils!

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How to bake shortbread for decorating?

To ensure that the cookies remain white when baked, they should be baked for just 8 minutes in a fan-assisted oven at 160°C. Then leave them to cool (at least 2 hours before applying the glaze).

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Preparing the royal icing

Once the cookies are baked and cooled, it’s time to glaze them. Royal icing is a preparation of egg whites, sugar and lemon. Nothing complicated in itself, but the challenge will be to find the right consistency to glaze the different parts of the cookie.

What consistency for royal icing?

The consistency of the glaze will vary depending on the application and the part to be glazed. I followed this video from My Sugar Story to learn how to properly frost my cookies. For the outline and filling, the royal icing should be a little liquid (like toothpaste), while for the details on the top, the icing should be a little drier.

How do I make up for thick icing?

If your icing is too thick, add a few drops of water or lemon juice to make it a little more liquid. If too runny, add a little powdered sugar. In both cases, adjust sparingly!

How to color a royal icing?

Royal icing can be colored with powder or gel coloring to avoid changing the consistency. A word of advice: don’t skimp on the dye. I wanted beautiful red Christmas baubles and I got this color. It’s cute but a little far from my original wish! But be careful: the icing will darken as it hardens!

How to decorate with royal icing?

To create the shape, first trace the outline, then fill in following the contour (like a snail). Here’s a tip to help you create a pretty outline: place the piping bag at the beginning and end of the outline, but hover over the cookie in between. For the top details, wait until the base has dried. A little tip: I used a pastry bag to make the bottom of the cookie and a cone to decorate it.

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How do I get the glaze to harden?

To harden, simply wait 30 minutes at room temperature. You can also dry your cookies in the oven at 40°C if your oven allows it.

How to store royal icing?

The royal icing can be stored in an airtight tin in the fridge for 2 weeks.

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Once your cookies are dry, simply thread a ribbon through the hole to hang them!

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Sablés boules de Noël

Des sablés décorés au glaçage royal en forme de boules de Noël
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 minutes
Temps de repos 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 8 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 20 biscuits
Calories 242 kcal


  • 1 plaque à pâtisserie
  • 1 feuille silpat ou papier sulfurisé
  • 1 douille
  • 1 emporte-pièce rond


Sablés à décorer

  • 375 g de farine
  • 5 g de levure chimique
  • 230 g de beurre doux à température ambiante
  • 170 g de sucre en poudre
  • 1 oeuf
  • 1 cuillère à café d'extrait naturel de vanille

Glaçage royal

  • 1 blanc d'oeuf
  • 2 cuillère à soupe de jus de citron
  • 280 g de sucre glace


Réalisation des biscuits

  • Dans un bol, mélanger la farine et la levure chimique. Réserver.
    375 g de farine, 5 g de levure chimique
  • Dans la cuve du batteur (ou à la main), battre le beurre avec le sucre. Ajouter l'oeuf et la vanille liquide.
    230 g de beurre doux à température ambiante, 170 g de sucre en poudre, 1 oeuf, 1 cuillère à café d'extrait naturel de vanille
  • Ajouter la farine et faire une boule avec la pâte. Mettre au frigo pendant au moins 1/2h.
    DSC 0051
  • Fariner le plan de travail et étaler la pâte sur 0,5 cm d'épaisseur.
  • Remettre la pâte au frigo pendant 10 minutes.
  • Avec l'emporte-pièce rond, tracer des cercles sans appuyer sur le haut. Tracer un petit cercle avec le grand côté de la douille. Faire un trou au milieu avec le petit côté.
    DSC 0063
  • Détailler toutes les pièces au couteau.
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  • Mettre au four à 180°C pendant 8 minutes. Laisser reposer au moins 2 heures avant de passer au glaçage.
    DSC 0062

Glaçage royal

  • Mélanger le blanc d'oeuf avec le jus de citron et ajouter le sucre glace tout doucement, en mélangeant bien.
    1 blanc d'oeuf, 2 cuillère à soupe de jus de citron, 280 g de sucre glace
  • Ajouter quelques gouttes d'eau ou de citron si le glaçage est trop épais.
  • Diviser le glaçage en différents bols (1 par couleur). Colorer le glaçage avec quelques gouttes de colorant alimentaire.
    DSC 0101
  • Tracer le contour des biscuits en ne posant que le début et la fin du contour et en survolant le reste du biscuit. Remplir l'intérieur en suivant le contour (ajuster si besoin l'intérieur avec un cure-dent).
  • Attendre 1h que le fond soit sec et ajouter les détails avec un glaçage un peu moins liquide.
    DSC 0013


Sodium: 115mgCalcium: 22mgVitamin C: 1mgVitamin A: 299IUSugar: 22gFiber: 1gPotassium: 29mgCholesterol: 33mgCalories: 242kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 6gFat: 10gProtein: 2gCarbohydrates: 37gIron: 1mg
Keyword biscuits, glaçage royal, sablés
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