Shortbread Biscuits

Buttery and crisp shortbread biscuits. Delicious dunked into caramel and melted chocolate or crumbled over ice cream. 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, but I also love to use heart-shaped or regular round cutters.

Once the shortbread all baked, if didn’t sprinkle the shortbread with sugar before baking you can now 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:

200g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

150g plain flour

150g self-raising flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Preheat oven to 160°C / 140°C Fan / Gas Mark 3. Cream the softened butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat together until light and pale in colour (about 1-2 minutes).
  2. Now sift the flours and add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture along with the vanilla extract. Continue to mix until a crumbly and soft ball of dough comes together. Don’t overwork the dough, try to touch it as little as possible. At this point you can wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill it for 15 minutes, however this is an optional step.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about 5mm / 1/4 inch thickness. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to the lined baking trays. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with a little extra sugar or you can dust each baked biscuit with icing sugar after baking if you prefer.
  4. Bake the biscuits for 30-35 minutes until they’re crisp and slightly golden around the edges.
  5. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5-10 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to a week, but they definitely won’t last longer than a day or two!

Recipe from “Cooking Up A Storm” by Sam Stern

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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