Shortbread

In my quest for the perfect shortbread I discovered the gold standard seems to be a 3-2-1 formula for quantities of flour-butter-sugar and Claire Clark’s family recipe is held highly as one of the best so in honour of my annual trip to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival I thought I would bake up the most Scottish thing I could think of.  While this was lovely vanilla-y shortbread I have to say I prefer mine buttery with a hint of salt so probably wouldn’t add the vanilla seeds again but take your pick between vanilla or salt.

Shortbread

Shortbread

  • Servings: 15 finger biscuits
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Ingredients
225g spelt or plain flour, sifted
150g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed or a pinch of salt
50g granulated sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180c or gas mark 5 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the sugar and vanilla seeds or salt.

Chop the butter roughly over the dry ingredients and then set the mixer on low with the k beater until a dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and gently roll out until approximately 1cm thick and cut into 15 fingers.

Move the fingers carefully to the lined baking sheet leaving some space between each biscuit as they will spread slightly and cook for 15 minutes.

Turn the tray around and cook for a further 10 minutes until the shortbread are a pale golden colour then remove from the oven and lightly dust with granulated sugar before leaving to cool on the tray.

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Hazelnut Shortbread with Nectarines

Long time followers will know I am in my element at the moment as it’s nectarine season. I also love nutty shortbread…. and cream….. and although I have been making this hazelnut shortbread for years, I had never followed the recipe suggestion of serving them sandwiched with cream and sliced nectarine. This recipe was torn from an August 2008 issue of Asda magazine and I have to say it’s a pretty good combo!

I have failed to ever find ground hazelnuts at the supermarket so make your own by preheating the oven to 180c or gas mark 4, tip the 150g hazelnuts onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes then rub the papery skins off with kitchen towel. Any stubborn nuts can be baked for another 5 minutes until the skin comes off when rubbed. Once cool, finely chop or whizz in a blender/nut mill until you have a breadcrumb like consitancy with a few nutty pieces to give some crunch to your shortbread.

Hazelnut Shortbread with Nectarines Continue reading