• 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour, plus 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 1/2 oz hard candies, assorted colors
  • Royal icing:
  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Food coloring


  1. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric whisk to cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs. Sieve in 2 1/2 cups flour and the salt and mix together with a wooden spoon. Divide the mixture in two. Add the cocoa powder to one portion, and the remaining flour and mixed spice to the other. Shape each dough into a flat rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
  2. Place each color of hard candies into a different zip-top plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  3. Roll out the biscuit dough very thin, about 1/8 inch thick. Use a knife to cut out 12 rectangles from each color, 3 by 4 inches in size. Re-roll any scraps to make up the final ones. Place the rectangles on a flat baking sheet. (They don’t need much space between them as they shouldn’t spread.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and put back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the trays of biscuits for 10 minutes then remove and use cookie cutters to carefully cut out designs in the biscuits. Fill the holes with the crushed candies. Bake for another 5 minutes then allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  5. When the biscuits are completely cool, prepare the royal icing. In a large mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and beat in the egg whites and lemon juice. Add a few drops of water if needed to create a smooth, thick piping consistency. Divide the icing into bowls and color accordingly. Transfer into piping bags.
  6. The 16 biscuits will create 4 votives. Sandwich 2 edges of each votive together to create a corner at a right angle. Prop up with a biscuit box or anything you have on hand, and let them rest for 3 hours. When the icing has fully set, sandwich two corner pieces together to complete the square. Let them dry for another 3 hours, then decorate with icing, covering the seams on each corner, and let dry again.
  7. Place a tea light inside each one on your dinner table for an edible, festive treat!