These tasty biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. Alternatively you can make them up to three months in advance and freeze them on the day you bake them, cooling completely before freezing. Defrost thoroughly when needed.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt and combine with a spatula to form a soft dough.
Divide the dough into two balls and flatten each half into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour to firm up.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and line three large baking sheets with nonstick baking paper. Dust a clean work surface generously with flour, then remove one disc from the fridge and cut it in half (this will make it easier to roll). Roll out one half at a time to around ½cm (¼in) thick. Using a round 7·5cm (3¼in) biscuit cutter, stamp out 10 rounds from each half. Transfer the rounds to the baking trays with a palette knife, leaving a small gap between each one.
Using a 6-6·5cm (2½-2¾in) star-shaped biscuit cutter, stamp out star shapes in the middle of half the biscuits. Repeat with the remaining chilled dough to make about 40 biscuits – 20 bases and 20 with stars stamped out. You will need an even number of bases and star-shaped rounds for sandwiching the biscuits.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream filling, combine the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until light and soft. It may feel a little stiff at first but continue beating and the mixture will eventually come together.
To assemble the biscuits, spread a teaspoon of buttercream over the base of each whole biscuit. Top the layer of buttercream with a layer of jam, putting most of the jam in the centre and just a thin covering at the edges. Gently press the stamped-out star biscuits on top and dust with a little icing sugar.
To prevent the biscuit cutters sticking to the pastry, dip them in flour before stamping out your shapes.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
All biscuits are perfect for freezing, you can even freeze the dough and bake your biscuits fresh. Cookie dough makes a lovely gift too. Package your biscuits carefully when they are completely cold and always freeze them on the same day you bake them, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Or they can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week – After a week they will not be as crisp and the flavour and overall texture won’t be as good, but they are still edible for a day or 2.
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