Lady Marlene’s Shortbread

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In the lead-up to Christmas last year, I made my tried and true Shortbread recipe and took some to work for my colleagues. They said all of the right things, but one of my colleagues, whose mother is from Scotland, brought me some of her mother’s shortbread to try. Yum.

I burned the first batch, (you can see in the photo that the Eiffel Tower biscuit is a bit too brown), but the next three batches were better.

125gm butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 Cup icing sugar

2 1/4 Cups plain flour

1/2 Cup cornflour

Mix the butter and vanilla extract until soft, then gradually beat in the sugar.

Fold in the sifted flours, then split into four and roll into balls. Press into circles and cut into eight (pizza-style). Otherwise, this is a good mixture for cutting out shapes.

Bake for 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

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Shortbread

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Mum makes lovely shortbread and so does my niece, C. C makes her shortbread in Christmas shapes (last year they were stars) and Mum cuts hers into thick wedges. I thought I would try rounds.

375gm butter
1/2 Cup caster sugar
3 Cups plain flour
1/2 Cup rice flour
pinch of salt

Sift the flour, rice flour and salt. Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Turn out onto the floured bench and knead well. Divide the mixture into four parts, then shape each into a round and cut (I used two pieces of baking paper and the rolling pin).

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Use your thumb or the end of a spoon to pinch around the edges for decoration. Cut into eight and prick each pices with a fork.

Bake at 130 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes, or until the shortbread starts to colour slightly. The shortbread will need to be cut again when it comes out of the oven.

Almond and Walnut Shortbread

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More Christmas cooking.

Years ago, I was lucky enough to work with a Greek man whose mother liked baking. This man’s problem was, the same man’s Greek wife preferred being skinny to eating her mother in law’s cooking. So, to keep everyone happy, his mother cooked, his wife fit in her skinny jeans and his co-workers happily ate the excess cakes, biscuits and dolmades.

He very kindly passed on his mother’s recipe for shortbread, which I have adapted slightly.

I iced the shortbread with a lemon glaze, but they are nice plain if you can’t be bothered. I actually meant to make a thicker icing to drizzle on top, but over enthusiastically tipped too much lemon juice into the icing sugar. They taste nice anyway.

250gm butter
3/4 Cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 egg
3/4 Cup almonds (or walnuts or pistachios or whatever buts you prefer).
2 1/2 Cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest, beat in the egg, then fold in the nuts, flour and baking powder to make a soft dough.

Roll large teaspoons of mixture into logs then curve into a horseshoe shape.

Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for about 14 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool on tray.

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Lemon Icing

Juice from 1 lemon
1 Cup icing sugar

Mix together and dunk the top of the shortbreads into the icing. Leave to dry on baking paper.

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