Another day, another disaster. Let me begin by sending my condolences to anybody affected by yesterday’s Glasgow lorry crash. It’s been playing on my mind a lot, so I decided to spend today getting out of my head space and getting my bake on!
Shortbread is a staple in my family, we enjoy it all year round, but for some reason, it’s extra special at Christmas! Paul Hollywood’s recipe from his ‘How to Bake’ book is my go to … it always turns out well and makes a great last minute gift or Christmas Eve treat. So, let me guide you through the process …
Simple Christmas Shortbread Ingredients
To make around twenty biscuits you will need …
– 225g Unsalted Butter
– 110g Caster Sugar (+ a bit extra for dusting the finished biscuits)
– 225g Plain Flour
– 110g Cornflour
– A pinch of salt
Note: I made a double batch, so don’t worry if it looks like you’ve got a lot less than in my photos!
Simple Christmas Shortbread Method
1. Line two baking trays with foil backed baking parchment.
2. Cut the unsalted butter into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl with the caster sugar. Mix with an electric whisk until fluffy:
3. Sift both the plain flour and cornflour into the mixing bowl. Add the salt, then mix thoroughly using your hands. I use a sort of ‘squelching’ technique (compressing and decompressing) with my fingers.
4. The mixture should begin to come together. At this point knead it a little with the palm of your hand, then roll the dough into a ball. If you’re having trouble getting the ingredients to come together, wet your hands with a little water and repeat this step.
5. Place the dough between two sheets of grease proof paper. Press down on it a little to flatten it, making it easier to roll. Roll the dough, with a rolling pin, between the two sheets until it is around one centimetre thick (be careful, it will get thin a lot quicker than you think).
6. Use a biscuit cutter (or knife) to cut the dough into biscuits of your desired shape. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking trays. Re-roll the off cuts of dough a few times to get as many as you can out of it!
7. Prick all over the biscuits with a fork, cover the baking tray with clingfilm and place in a fridge for at least half an hour.
8. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 for a fan oven). Cook in the preheated oven for fifteen to twenty minutes, until the edges of the biscuits are beginning to turn golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool on the trays for a few minutes before sprinkling caster sugar over them. Leave to cool on a wire rack and you’re done!
I’ve actually kept some of my batch back to cover in chocolate, but they’re hardening up in the fridge as I type (I’ll try and put a picture in this week’s ‘weekend update’). To do the same, don’t sprinkle the biscuit with caster sugar. Instead, melt a bar of Bourneville chocolate, dip half of each biscuit into the chocolate (neaten up the edges with a blunt knife), then place the biscuits on a baking tray covered in foil backed baking parchment and let them set in the fridge.