October 17, 2014

Shortbread + Cake Bake & Sweets Show

This shortbread recipe is so simple, so versatile and so delicious.  There's something very satisfying about making the fork-tine pattern on the tops of the biscuits, and snacking on them with some hot tea.

The recipe can be jazzed up easily in a number of ways - you could add some essences/extracts, and even a bit of lemon zest would give these a great twist!  I added some Mayan Chilli Chocolate Powder from Gewurzhaus (cocoa powder, chilli, cinnamon and cayenne pepper) to some of the dough for chocolate shortbread with a bit of a bite.  I also love to add matcha powder for green tea shortbread!

Recipe adapted from: my great aunt Gladys
5.5 oz (155g) butter
2 oz (55g) icing sugar
7 oz (200g) flour + some extra if needed

1. Preheat the oven to 150 - 160 C (65 - 70 F).

2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Fold in the flour until combined.  The dough will be very soft, but if it's too sticky, add some more flour (just a little bit at a time!) until it can be rolled into a ball in your hands without sticking to everything.

4. You can roll the dough out into a sheet and cut shapes out (make sure you chill the dough in the freezer after it's cut to make it easier to handle and transfer to your baking trays), but another simple way to make the cookies is to roll the dough into logs, cover them in cling wrap, chill them for a while and then slice them into pieces.

These cookies don't spread too much so you can put them quite close together on your baking tray.  Create some texture and interest on your cookies by pressing into the cookies with the flat of a fork, or by poking holes in the top.

You can also add chocolate chips, or even cachous.  Just make sure that whatever you add won't melt everywhere!

5. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden.

I got some adorable cookie cutters from Cutter Craft recently, at the Melbourne Cake Bake and Sweets Show, and I was eager to try them out.

I absolutely love the stegosaurus.  It makes one of the cutest cookies I've ever seen!

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!

A little more on the Cake Bake and Sweets Show - it was fantastic, with so many different stalls and presentations.  There was a lot of sampling of delicious and moist mud cake from the Wedding Chapel Made Of Cake.  I particularly enjoyed Tim Clark's (of Cacao) presentation on eclairs, and Janet O'Sullivan's (of The Cupcake Lady) fantastic and informative presentation on ganache.  I've come away with some great tips to try out!

Tim Clark's Cocoa Pop eclairs
The Savour Chocolate School chocolate rainforest was also very impressive.

My mission post-show: to find a dependable dense, moist chocolate mud cake...

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