Chocolate Drizzled Orange Shortbread

Buttery, crisp shortbread biscuits flavoured with fresh orange zest and finished with a delicious drizzle of melted chocolate. 

orange-shortbread-with-chocolate-drizzle

I’ve decided to put a twist on these shortbread biscuits, a recipe I shared very recently with you. I love those shortbread biscuits with their classic buttery flavour and richness. For this different take on my original shortbread biscuits I took inspiration in one of my favourite seasonal flavours and added a couple of tablespoons of orange zest to the shortbread dough. The orange zest adds a lovely fresh and zingy taste to the biscuits.

This dough is super easy to roll out, I usually prepare it the night before and leave it overnight in the fridge and then in the morning I take it out from the fridge and allow it to soften slightly for about an hour on my kitchen countertop, however if you don’t want to make it in advance the shortbread dough does only need to be chilled for a couple of hours before you can roll it out. I’ve cut these shortbread biscuits quite thickly for a tender and softer baked biscuit that will melt in the mouth.

Because the biscuits aren’t overly sweet that means a small drizzle of melted chocolate is more than welcome. Chocolate and orange happens to be a flavour pairing I absolutely adore and even more so around Christmastime. You can choose whatever chocolate you like, dark chocolate would work perfectly on these biscuits or you might even prefer to decorate with a simple orange drizzle icing instead. It’s totally up to you what you choose!

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I’ve been baking with some items from the new range of kitchenware from Joseph Joseph. The TriScale™ has replaced my old pair of digital kitchen scales. I like that these scales can be folded up and they take up less room and space, which is especially great if you’re like me and have a tiny kitchen! I’ve used the Adjustable Rolling Pin that’s fitted with measuring rings – this helps you roll the dough out to the exact thickness you want it, so my biscuits were the perfect thickness and all baked evenly. To measure out the ingredients I’ve used the Nest™ Measure cup set. My set of measuring cups is multi-coloured and it fits perfectly in my kitchen draw. I love the vibrant colours and they’re really handy to use to measure out ingredients accurately. If you want to you can take a look at the Joseph Joseph website, they have gifts perfect for every baking and cooking enthusiast out there!

(Makes 20-30)

Ingredients:

250g butter, softened

120g icing sugar

450g plain flour

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (about the zest of two large oranges)

150-200g dark or milk chocolate, melted

Method:

1. Cream the softened butter for a minute or two until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar and flour. Using your fingertips, combine the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir through the orange zest. Press the mixture together until a soft, yet slightly crumbly dough forms – if your dough seems too crumbly add 1-2 tablespoons of ice-cold water to bring it together.

2. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and wrap each piece of dough in clingfilm. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days). If you’re chilling longer than 2 hours when you’re ready to bake the shortbread take the dough out from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour before attempting to roll out.

3. Roll each piece of dough out in between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s approx. 5mm/0.5cm thick. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to lined baking trays.

4. Spread biscuits out onto lined baking trays, bake at 160°C / 140 Fan for 30 minutes or until dry and still pale in colour. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature.

5. Drizzle or dip each biscuit with the melted chocolate and leave in the fridge until the chocolate has set. Shortbread with the chocolate topping will keep for up to 1 week or without the chocolate for up to a month stored in an airtight container.

orange-shortbread

Enjoy!

jess

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Gingernut Biscuits

A traditional British ginger spiced biscuit. No chilling or mixer is required to make these wonderfully crunchy biscuits! 

gingernuts-recipe

Whilst my favourite cookie of all time is the classic chocolate chip cookie, that doesn’t stop me baking and trying out lots of new recipes and discovering more that I love.

It’s gingerbread season after all so I couldn’t let the Xmas season go by and not post another ginger spiced recipe with you. These gingernut biscuits are the taste of Christmas with their festive flavour, they’re more of a grown up version of my gingerbread men which are typically chewy and soft, unlike these gingernuts which are crunchy on the outside with a slightly chewy texture on the inside.

This recipe makes sixteen small biscuits, but it’s very likely you’ll want to bake a double batch like I did the last time I made them because the first will be gone in no time. Fresh from the oven enjoy the cookies with a mug of hot chocolate, a tall glass of milk or a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea.

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Finding a recipe I was entirely happy with proved to be a difficult task. I’ve tested several different ginger biscuit/cookie recipes over the past few weeks. I’ve lost count of how many baking fails I had along the way, but I didn’t give up until I found the best recipe.

The perfect ginger biscuit recipe was a Delia classic. I always pick Delia’s cookbooks when I need a trusty recipe that I know will work, not a recipe that would mess me around and waste valuable ingredients and my time. For those of you who might not know, gingernuts are one of the UK’s favourite biscuits to have with tea. The biscuit is lightly spiced with ground ginger and sometimes other spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. They have various different names in other countries like gingersnaps in the US, lebkuchen in Germany and speculaas in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The baked biscuits have a distinctive crackle appearance on top, once you take a bite you will discover how gorgeously crisp and delightfully chewy they with the added deliciousness of a warming ginger aftertaste.

You can get as decorative as you want with these biscuits, maybe dip each biscuit half in melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or candied ginger. The recipe is a breeze to make because you don’t need to use a mixer and the dough doesn’t need to be chilled either! If you’re a fan of gingernuts, why not give this homemade version a go, the biscuits are super easy to make and they taste spectacular for something so simple.

(Makes 16)

Ingredients:

110g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger

40g caster sugar

50g butter, softened

50g (2 tablespoons) golden syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190ºC / 170 Fan / 375ºF / Gas Mark 5. Line 1-2 large baking trays with non-stick paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside for later. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger. Stir through the sugar. Add the butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and is a crumbly texture.
  2. Mix through the golden syrup until a soft dough has formed.
  3. Evenly divide the dough into 16 small pieces – roughly a tablespoon each. I weigh my dough to be precise, but you don’t have to do that. Roll the dough into small balls and evenly spread out onto the lined baking tray allowing them enough room as they will spread whilst baking. Flatten each ball of dough a little with the palm of your hand and then bake for 10-15 minutes until they’ve spread, are golden in colour and have a cracked appearance. I turn the baking tray around about halfway through to ensure the biscuits all bake evenly.
  4. Once the biscuits are baked leave them to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes, as they cool they’ll harden. Once cool transport the biscuits to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  5. Biscuits will store in an airtight container or biscuit tin for up to 1 week.

gingernut-biscuits-recipe

Enjoy!

jess

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Shortbread Biscuits

Buttery and crisp shortbread biscuits. Delicious dunked into caramel and melted chocolate or crumbled over ice cream. Made with only three ingredients, these scrumptious biscuits will just melt-in-your-mouth! 

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Homemade shortbread is a Christmas necessity. I look forward to Christmastime all year round, it’s my favourite time of the year because you can go overboard decorating the Christmas tree and entire house, spend quality time catching up with family and importantly, eat as many biscuits, chocolate, cheese, crackers, canapés and sweets as you want. Just thinking about all that food is making me quite hungry…

The best part of Christmas is definitely the several boxes of shortbread and chocolate-coated biscuits we get to eat our way through and enjoy. I’ll admit it, I have no self-control when it comes to shortbread biscuits or any kind of biscuit for that matter. My maternal grandma is half Scottish and her dad’s side of the family came from Dunblane, I’m sure my love of making (and eating!) shortbread is highly influenced by my Scottish roots.

Shortbread for me is something truly magical. It requires only three ingredients and those few ingredients are quite easily assessable, meaning that if you suddenly remembered you’ve forgotten to get a present for someone (we’ve all been there) or plans change at the last-minute and you have unexpected guests, don’t panic as you can whip up a batch of these shortbread biscuits in no time at all with little notice and you won’t need to make a mad rush to the supermarket either!

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These shortbread biscuits can be packaged up in bags or biscuit tins and given away to your family members and friends as an edible gift. Saying that, you probably won’t want to give any of these away, you’re likely to want to hide these somewhere only you know about!

Shortbread biscuits are a great way of getting kids involved with baking. They can prepare the dough by hand, then roll out it and stamp out different shaped biscuits with cutters. I picked a star-shaped cutter for this batch of shortbread biscuits because I love the way they look and you can always buy shortbread rounds, I like that these star-shaped ones are just a little bit different and they have an extra special festive touch.

Bake these shortbread biscuits and as you wait for them to cool, pop the kettle on and grab a cuppa. Decorate each biscuit with a light dusting of icing sugar. Your ticket to buttery, crumbly shortbread heaven is right here with this recipe.

(Makes 20-30)

Ingredients:

250g unsalted butter, softened

120g icing sugar

450g plain flour

Method:

  1. Cream the softened butter for a minute or two until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar and flour. Using your fingertips, combine the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Press the mixture together until a soft, yet slightly crumbly dough forms.
  2. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrap each piece of dough in clingfilm. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days). See recipe notes below for instructions on chilling longer than 2 hours.
  3. Roll each piece of dough out in between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s approx. 5mm/0.5cm thick. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to lined baking trays.
  4. Spread biscuits out onto lined baking trays, bake at 160°C / 140 Fan for 30 minutes or until dry and still pale in colour. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature.
  5. Prior to serving dust each biscuit with caster or icing sugar. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Recipe Notes:

  • You don’t need to cream the butter and sugar together – doing this will incorporate too much air into the biscuits.
  • Dough will be very crumbly, this is traditional with shortbread. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of ice-cold water to the mixture.
  • You can make the shortbread dough up to 2 days prior to baking. Before you want to bake the biscuits, take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to come back up to room temperature before attempting to roll it out. I leave dough that has been chilling overnight out on the kitchen counter for about an hour to allow it to soften.
  • This recipe yields about 20-30 biscuits and I made just over 30. How many biscuits you get from the dough depends on how big your cutter is and the thickness that you roll your dough out to.
  • Shortbread is traditionally baked at a very low oven temperature. Don’t be alarmed when you read the instructions and see how low I’ve stated the oven temperature to be set to. The shortbread biscuits are baked for half an hour to ensure they’re cooked all the way through, but when they are ready they’ll be very pale in colour and only slightly golden around the edges.
  • This is a great recipe to bake a few weeks before Christmas as the baked shortbread will keep stored in an airtight container for a month.

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Love shortbread? Try my homemade jammie dodgers next!

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Or try something more festive by baking these Gingerbread Men!

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Enjoy!

jess

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Golden Oreo Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes swirled with an ultra fluffy vanilla buttercream and decorated with deliciously crunchy Golden Oreo cookies. A simple and delicious bake perfect for any vanilla cupcake lover!

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These Golden Oreo Cupcakes are made completely from scratch using my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe. The cupcakes are gorgeously buttery, fluffy and are everything a good vanilla cupcake should be.

I’ve shared these cupcakes once before on the blog and I’ve only just got round to adjusting the recipe slightly and updating the photos. This time last year I visited America for the first time and I came home with a suitcase crammed full of American candy/sweets and cookies ready to bake with. Because I bought SO much, I couldn’t fit everything into my case and I ended up rushing off to a local shop and buying myself an emergency suitcase!

Oh, the things I would do for some Oreos… 😉

Since my visit to New York, the supermarkets this side of the pond have started stocking different Oreo flavours, so much to our delight we now have two extra flavours in our stores – Golden and Peanut Butter Oreos. Golden Oreos are my favourite and they’re very similar to Custard Creams which are a popular biscuit here in the UK and a personal childhood favourite of mine.

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Now, back to the cupcakes…

I use my fail-proof vanilla cupcake recipe which is identical to my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes recipe. The cupcakes are made using a traditional sponge (butter cake) batter and they’re incredibly light with a gorgeous buttery flavour in each bite.

The vanilla cupcakes are swirled with a creamy vanilla frosting. The frosting is insanely delicious! I’m not even kidding when I tell you it tastes exactly like the vanilla crème filling inside the Oreo. Try it and you will see!

I decorated the cupcakes with a mixture of crushed and whole Golden Oreos. And if you’re feeling like it you could place a whole Oreo at the bottom of each cake – I’ve tried this before and I personally didn’t like the texture of the cookie after it had been baked. I prefer to decorate my cakes with the Oreos just before serving so they don’t go soft and remain crunchy.

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(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes –

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

3 medium or large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted 

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp milk or water

Vanilla Buttercream –

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, really soft

300g (3 cups) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp double cream (heavy cream) or milk

Decoration –

6-12 Golden Oreos (halved or left whole)

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 6. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners and set aside.

2. Cream the softened butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and very fluffy. Add the eggs one by one mixing well until combined. Fold the flour in and gently mix until the mixture is incorporated. Finally, add the milk or water to loosen to the mixture slightly. It should now be a soft batter.

4. Evenly distribute the cupcake batter between the cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then when cool enough to touch remove from the tin and transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Add the softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed for about a minute just to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and mix together on a low speed (this is to avoid a sugar cloud!) until the butter and sugar has combined. Now turn up the speed to medium and cream for another 5 minutes – remember to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure all the sugar and butter is combined fully. Once the buttercream is fluffy add the double cream and mix on low speed for another minute to mix through completely.

6. Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I love the large star tip for cupcakes. Fill the piping bag with the buttercream and pipe an even amount on the top of each cupcake then finish with crumbled Oreos or a whole Oreo. However you decorate is up to you!

Note: These cupcakes will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

jess

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Chocolate chip cookie cake – it’s soft, chewy and jam-packed with gooey chocolate chips. My new favourite way to enjoy cookies! Slice it up and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce! 

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This Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is just as amazing as it sounds. It’s chewy, gooey and a delicious sweet treat topped with a scoop of ice cream and caramel or chocolate sauce!

Why have small cookies when you can have a GIANT one? That makes good sense to me!

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What I love most about this recipe is how easy it is to prepare. There’s no need for rolling out the dough because we’re pressing the cookie dough into a cake tin and you also won’t need to worry chilling the dough.

I like to use a combination of dark and milk chocolate chips in my cookie cake, but you can add just one type or even some white chocolate chips. I think the dark chocolate contrasts well with the sweetness in the cookie.

Cornflour (aka cornstarch) is the magic ingredient in a few favourite savoury and sweet recipes of mine. Adding a couple of teaspoons to the cookie dough ensures when the cookie cake is baked it has a gorgeous chewy centre!

Ingredients:

170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

200g (1 cup packed) light brown sugar (substitute with dark brown sugar, if preferred)

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

250g (2 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)

2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

½ teaspoon salt

220g chocolate chips (I used a combination of dark and milk)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas 4. Lightly grease a 23cm/9-inch round cake tin with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy and light. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in two batches. Mix until a dough comes together. Finally, fold through the chocolate chips – this will require a fair bit of elbow grease as the dough will be very thick.
  5. Press the cookie dough out evenly into the prepared cake tin. Your hands will be the best tool to use! Once spread out, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cookie is a light golden colour on top. Note: baking time may take up to 30 minutes, depending on your oven).
  6. Once the cookie cake is baked remove it from the oven and set the cake tin over a wire rack to cool.
  7. When the cookie cake is completely cool, run a palette knife around the edges of the cookie to loosen the sides. Carefully release the cookie cake from the tin. Slice up, serve as it is, or with ice cream or frosting. Rewarm in the microwave or oven if you want to serve a slice warm.

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If you like this Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, you are going to love this cookie cake even more! You can serve the cookie cake on its own, top with ice cream, or even pipe a border of buttercream around the outside and decorate with sprinkles. Whichever way you decide, it’s sure to be delicious!

As I finish writing this blog post, I’m seriously regretting giving away the rest of this cookie to my taste testers. I’ll take any excuse to bake this again!

Enjoy!

jess

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Gingerbread Men

Spiced gingerbread men. Decorated with an easy royal icing. These biscuits make a cute festive bake the whole family will enjoy making and eating! Homemade gingerbread men are the taste of Christmas!

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I couldn’t let the festive season pass and not post a gingerbread biscuit recipe on the blog! I’ve been making this gingerbread biscuit recipe for many years now and it has never let me down. The biscuits perfectly crisp and golden on the outside, yet soft and chewy in the centre. They have the perfect combination of spices and are utterly delicious dunked into a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!

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gingerbread men

My gingerbread dough is made from just a handful of ingredients and it’s an absolute breeze to make. Start by creaming softened butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then add one egg to the mix along with a few tablespoons of golden syrup. Finally toss together flour, bicarb and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet whilst the mixer is running and continue to mix until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms.

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I’ve added a mixture of ground cinnamon and ginger to the dough and there is just enough flavour from the spices without being overwhelming. I’ve also used golden syrup in place of molasses, but if you cannot get your hands on golden syrup wherever you live you can substitute the syrup for black treacle or molasses.

Once the dough is chilled you’re then good to go and start rolling it out. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. This way you don’t add any extra flour to the dough and it’s not as messy! 😉

Cut the gingerbread men out and then evenly spread out onto 2-3 large baking trays and bake until golden. Baking time will depend on the cutters you use. I used a 4-inch gingerbread man cutter and this batch of gingerbread biscuits were in the oven for approx. 10-12 minutes. But baking time will differ by a few minutes either side depending on the size of your cutter and how thick you roll the dough.

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The best part comes next, the decoration! I decorated my gingerbread men with royal icing. You can tint the icing with food colouring and pipe cute decorations onto each biscuit. Top with chocolates, sweets or festive sprinkles. They’re slightly crisp on outside then as you bite into the biscuit you will discover the divine chewy centre.

(Makes 20)

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Biscuits:

125g unsalted butter, softened

175g dark brown sugar (you can also use light brown)

1 large free-range egg (I use British Lion Eggs)

4 tablespoons golden syrup or molasses (not blackstrap)

350g plain flour (all-purpose)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Royal Icing:

227g (8 ounces) icing sugar

2 teaspoons egg white powder

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3-5 tablespoons cold water

Food colouring (optional)

Method:

  1. To make the dough: Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and golden syrup and mix until combined. In a small bowl toss together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave to chill the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Note: I left mine in the fridge overnight then allowed it to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before rolling out.
  2. Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 160 Fan / 180 C. Line 2-3 large baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats. Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured work surface until it’s 1/4 inch / 0.5cm thick.
  3. Cut out the gingerbread men shapes and spread out evenly on the lined baking trays. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack.
  4. To make the royal icing: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the icing sugar, egg white powder, cream of tartar and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Beat for 5 minutes until thick and glossy. Add the additional 2 tablespoons of water until you reach your preferred consistency.
  5. Decorate the gingerbread men as desired with the icing. Leave the icing to set for about 30 minutes before eating. Gingerbread men will keep in an airtight container for up to up to 1 week.

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Enjoy!

jess

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Buck’s Fizz Marmalade Shortbreads

I’ve had the pleasure of creating a recipe using an exclusive Christmas hamper from Fortnum & Mason. Today I’m sharing my favourite buttery shortbread which are perfect for cut-out biscuits or cookies as they retain their shape and do not spread whilst baking. Sandwich together with your favourite curd, jam or marmalade for a delicious sweet treat. #FortnumsChristmas

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Today I’m back with another delicious shortbread recipe! A few weeks back I shared this Scottish Shortbread, since then I’ve put a twist on that recipe and I’m showing you something a little extra fun ready for the upcoming party season.

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Included in my beautiful festive hamper was Christmas buck’s fizz marmalade, a bar of spiced chocolate, mulled wine jelly with edible gold leaf and a jar of spiced port mustard. If you are looking to purchase your own luxury Christmas hamper or would like to give one to someone for an Xmas present, you can browse the Fortnum & Mason website here to see a selection of hampers.

Next came the difficult (but fun) task of picking what I would bake.

After brainstorming a couple of possible recipes I finally decided on baking shortbread sandwiches. If you follow my blog you will know that one of my favourite childhood biscuits is the jammy dodger. Because Christmas is all about indulging and treating yourself, I thought it would be a delicious idea to sandwich these shortbreads together with the buck’s fizz marmalade from the hamper. I also sandwiched some of the biscuits with homemade plum jam that I made with my grandma back in the summer. If you’d like the recipe for the homemade jam, I’d definitely be happy to share it!

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Cut out any of your favourite biscuit shapes. I personally love the traditional heart shape centre, but you can cut out literally anything you like. Go down the festive route with stars, icicles or even mini gingerbread men.

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The marmalade really is some of the best I’ve ever eaten. It has a gorgeous refreshing orange flavour. The sparkle within the marmalade adds an extra special touch for Christmas or any other celebration. We really loved the flavour from prosecco and Marc de Champagne mixed with the Seville oranges. I’m already planning to make something else with the remaining marmalade in the jar, but making more of these biscuits is at the top of my list!

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(Makes 12 large shortbread sandwiches depending on your cookie cutters)

Ingredients:

225g (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

150g (1 and 1/2 cups) icing sugar, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or seeds scraped from 1 small vanilla pod)

2 large free-range egg yolks

300g (2 and 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

150g curd, jam or marmalade – approx. 1 heaped teaspoon per shortbread sandwich

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. Cream the softened butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks along with the flour and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Tip: if you want to speed up this process, split the dough in half and wrap each piece up individually in clingfilm. Chilling time will be halved.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / 160 Fan / Gas Mark 4. Roll out half the dough out onto a lightly floured surface until it’s the thickness of a pound coin (approx. 0.5 cm thickness). Using a 7.5 cm cookie cutter stamp out 12 circles. Now using a 2.5 cm cutter and stamp out the centre of each biscuit. Off cuts can be baked as well! I cut mine into star and heart shapes. Please note: you may be able to make more biscuits depending on the size of your cutters.
  3. Roll out the other half of the dough as you did before and stamp out a further 12 circles. Spread the biscuits evenly out onto 2 large lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a light golden colour. Keep a watchful eye whilst they’re baking, as the shortbread can brown very quickly in the last few minutes of baking time.
  4. Once baked leave to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. In this time of biscuits will harden and will have become more easily transferable. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  5. Once the biscuits are cool, place about a teaspoonful of the jam into the centre of the base biscuits. Press on the top biscuits and sandwich together – be careful as the biscuits are very delicate and can break easily. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  • Shortbread will store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • The shortbread biscuits can be baked ahead of time and then filled and decorated the next day.

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I love how simple these are to make, but they look like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen! Children and adults alike will really enjoy making these shortbread over the Christmas holidays!  

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Enjoy!

jess

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