Mothering Sunday brought long walks and baking my way. I wanted to make something for the two ladies in my life. My mum and my dad’s girlfriend. Tea and biscuits are normally what’s on offer when I see either party, so I thought I’d return the favour. And who doesn’t like a good shortbread biscuit?!
Tried and tasted, these simple delights are easy to make and a joy to eat. I love giving homemade edibles as gifts. Nothing wasted, not so extravagant on the old coin purse and surely says ‘I care’ a little bit better than a box of ‘happy shopper’ chocolate truffles bought last second from the corner shop. I just hope my mum and step mum feel the same, but I’m pretty sure that they do. I get my thoughtfulness from somewhere after all.
The recipe is actually an adapted version of a Paul Hollywood shortbread recipe, blatantly, my version is ten times more wonderful, not to mention colourful to boot. I use slightly salted butter as opposed to using unsalted butter and adding a pinch of salt, but either way will work
225 Grams of Butter (slightly salted)
110 Grams of Caster Sugar
50 Grams of Cornflour
280 Grams of Plain Flour
Approx 2 table spoons of water.
Food colourings of your choice- My choice was Violet and Sky Blue from the Sugarflair range.
Sprinkles – Again any of your choice
Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s light, pale and fluffy. Sift in the cornflour and the flour and mix in thoroughly. The mix should start to bind together, this is when you should add the tiny amount of water. I find that this helps to bind the shortbread dough without taking away the shortness or too much of the melt-in-the-mouth goodness from the baked biscuit.
Anyway, once it’s all doughy do not mess with it too much. If you are going down the same rout as me and using two different colours you will need to half the dough. Add the colouring to get your desired shade.
I rolled my two halves in to rough rectangles. Then Place on top of the other and proceed to roll into a long sausage shape as tightly as you can. Once you’re happy with the rolled colours, use cling film to keep the roll in place. Put it to the back of your fridge and leave it for about 30 mins to become a little more firm. Don’t forget to preheat the oven to about 170 degrees. Walk away and have a cuppa.
Once chilled, take out of the cling film and roll in your favourite sprinkles. I used bright pink sugar crystals, but I think hundreds and thousands would look epic! Make sure all of your swirly shortbread sausage is covered in the sprinkles and then cut into 1 and ½ (ish) cm. This saves on using a cutter, all you’ll need is a sharp knife. Do try not to squash the round shape too much as you are cutting. Line the rounds up on a lined baking tray with a little space between each one which will allow them to settle and spread a little. Bang em in the oven for about 20 – 25 mins. Make sure you don’t let the biscuits colour in the oven, traditional ones are pale in colour so if the edges star to turn a pale gold whip them out of the oven fast.
Leave them to cool for as long as you can actually hold out for, and tuck in. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to watch out for finger burns as it’s just not possible to wait alllll that time.
So there you have it, easy peasy. Although I’m issuing a health warning as they are slightly addictive. If you don’t intend to give them away, don’t try to eat them all in one day as delicious as they are. They’re a little heavy on the fat and calorie content. So please, please bake responsibly…. And feed them to your work colleagues instead! I intend to bake these again at the weekend and take them to work if they last that long!!
Happy Baking BIYers!!