Christmas Baking, Day 3
Today’s Christmassy treat traditionally comes from Scotland, and it is a family favourite of mine, with a nice cuppa in front of the TV in the evening on Christmas Day: Scottish Shortbread! Usually my Mum doesn’t have the time to make them herself, so I make them with my Nan when I go to pick her up on Christmas eve. It’s a little tradition of ours. I have adapted an easy to follow recipe I found online (link below), which makes baking these buttery, crumbly treats easier than you thought!
If you wanted to jazz them up a lil’, you could add in dried fruit or chocolate chips – depending on your taste. Unfortunately, these cannot be frozen, so they’re best made the day before you eat or give them as a present! Everyone loves to get yummy biscuits at Christmas because it is ALWAYS a “cheat day” and calories do not count!
It is important to get the balance between dry and wet ingredients right. If the biscuits have too much butter, they will be too soft and won’t bake right. Too little and they’ll be too dry to stay together.
To make the shortbreads you’ll need…
- 350g plain flour
- 125g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 250g butter, cut into small cubes
- Caster sugar, for dusting
- 2 x 23cm round sandwich tins, buttered and base-lined with grease proof paper.
Making the biscuits…
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
- Put the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Put the butter cubes into the bowl and start to combine the mixture by hand. (This is where you would also put in the Chocolate chips etc) Work the mixture until it forms a ball – do not beat the mixture with a spoon or whisk. The mixing may take a while as you are doing it manually, but don’t be tempted to use another method!
- Divide the mixture into 2 and put a portion into each tin, pressing it into an even layer.
- Use the handle end of a fork to create a dimpled pattern around the edges of the tins, then use the prongs to prick over the surface to create small holes. Not too many!
- Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for about 30-40 mins, or until the mixture is a pale golden colour.
- When baked to perfection, take out of the oven and leave to cool for around 5 minutes.
- Remove the shortbread from the tins and cut into petticoat tails, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with caster sugar before serving by rolling each one in the sugar or sprinkling it over.
These crumbly, yummy biscuits are so moreish that you might want to make several batches! Use an old biscuit tin to share with your family and friends around Christmas time, for a treat that no one can turn down. They aren’t heavy chocolate biscuits that you may usually receive as a present, so they’re great for when you want a little bit of something sweet to round off your Christmas foody celebrations.
Hope you enjoy this easy recipe!