Last week Hana was at her office Christmas party so as I had the flat to myself for the evening I decided to do a little baking to test out one of my Christmas Gift ideas. It can be difficult and costly to buy presents for everyone so last year I made little bags of Biscotti for work collegues and Hana’s extended family.
I think making your own gifts is quite personal and people always appreciate the time and effort which goes into making it, not to mention getting something delicious. I like to make an effort with presentation, last year I wrapped the Biscotti in clear celophane with a bright red ribbon. They looked quite sweet, just like something you would find at a craft-fair or bakery.
I picked Shortbread Biscuits as one of my Christmas Gift Ideas because I love the buttery, crumbly texture. They remind me of childhood trips to the WI (womens institute) with my Grandmother, we would buy lots of cakes and treats but I always liked Shortbread best, as the fingers are the perfect size for dunking in a glass of milk. Shortbread also feels very Christmasy, there are always beautifully decorated tins of it in Marks & Spencer.
I have to admit I did over bake the first batch. They still tasted just like Shortbread should but they didn’t look as good so being vein I did not take a picture of them. I have adjusted the cooking time accordingly but please do check after 15 minutes as ovens can vary
All Butter Shortbread
Preperation time, 15 minutes (+ 20 minutes chilling time)
Cooking time, 15 – 20 minutes
125g Butter (at room temperature)
55g Caster Sugar
180g Plain Flour
Icing Sugar for dusting.
Preheat your oven to 190c/375f/Gas 5. Weight out all your ingredients and have to hand, you will also need a rolling pin and some work space.
In a large mixing bowl cream the Butter and Sugar together by beating until smooth.
Sift in the Plain Flour gradually, mixing it in fully before adding more. This helps to incorporate the Flour better. Once you have a smooth firm paste turn it out onto your work surface.
Roll out to about 1/2in thick. Now cut it into whatever shapes you like. The most traditional way is to make fingers but as its festive food you could try making Christmas Trees.
Lightly dust with icing and pop them in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes, but do check at 15 minutes. When ready they should be a pale golden colour.
Cool on a wire rack then wrap them up with Celophane and a ribbon or pop them in Gift boxes ready to give to people. They should keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight biscuit tin so don’t make them too far ahead. Just don’t forget to enjoy some yourself!
- A Little ShortHistory (shortbreadsweet.wordpress.com)
- Christmas Cookies – Chai Spice Shortbread Tea Cookies (seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com)
- Easiest Shortbread Ever (thepantryfairy.wordpress.com)