You might need a little elbow grease to pipe these beauties, but the result is a gorgeously short, delicate biscuit which just screams Christmas.
- 280 gm softened butter
- 80 gm raw caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour
- 80 gm almond meal
- 30 ml orange juice
- ½ tsp each finely grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon
- To decorate: silver dragées and red holly sugar beads (optional; see note)
- 340 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
- 60 ml (¼ cup) orange juice
- 45 ml brandy
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter, caster sugar and grated rinds in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (5-6 minutes). Add flour, almond meal, orange juice and spices and beat to just combine. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 2cm fluted nozzle. Pipe 7cm-diameter wreaths onto baking trays lined with baking paper, leaving 2-3cm in between each to spread, then bake until light golden (12-15 minutes). Cool completely on trays, then transfer to a wire rack placed over a tray.
- 2Meanwhile, for brandy glaze, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth and of drizzling consistency (add a little water to thin if necessary). Drizzle a little over each wreath, allowing excess to run off, decorate with silver dragées and red holly sugar beads, stand until set (15-20 minutes). Almond shortbread wreaths will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Note Silver dragées and red holly sugar beads are available from specialist cake decorating suppliers.