So with just two weeks left till Christmas, our house is really beginning to look, feel and SMELL like Christmas… with the Christmas tree up, shopping bags of presents lined up, rolls of wrapping paper spread out and yummy smells wafting out from the kitchen.
After some research and pondering, I finally landed on the perfect recipe – Christmas Shortbread : A yummy and Christmassy goodie but also fairly simple recipe that anyone would not hesitate to try. It’s so simple that it definitely falls under my four ingredient recipes category.
Here’s a little bit of trivia and introduction on the history of shortbread
Shortbread dates back to the 12th century in Scotland and the British Isles. They were originally biscuits that were made from left-over bread dough that was sometimes sweetened and dried out in the oven to form a hard, dry rusk.
Over time the leavening was replaced by butter, making it an expensive luxury treat that was only reserved for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve) and weddings.
The large amount of butter is what makes shortbread short: the term ‘short’, when applied to biscuits and pastry, means crumbly, like shortcrust pastry. It is the reason why the fat added to biscuits and pastries is called shortening.
I love this particular shortbread recipe as the rice flour gives a soft velvety texture which just melts in your mouth. And the simple recipe allows plenty of room for creativity and variation.
Christmas Shortbread Fingers
250g butter at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
[Quantity makes approx 16 fingers]
Step 1: Preheat oven to 160ºC. Then line a 26cm x 18 cm baking tin with baking paper.
Step 2: Cream butter and sugar together until pale, light and creamy.
Step 3: Sift flours over butter and sugar mixture. Then using a smooth non-serrated knife, mix flour and butter mixture in a cutting motion until the mixture comes together in small moist clumps.
Step 4: Tip the dough into the tin and press it out into an even layer. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into evenly sized rectangular fingers. Prick lightly with a fork and sprinkle with extra sugar.
Step 5: Bake for 30 minutes until it turns a light golden colour. Depending on the actual size of your tin, the size and thickness of your dough might vary, so it might be worthwhile to check the oven regularly to make sure it does not become over-baked or burnt.
Step 6: Allow the shortbread to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before lifting out gently by the edges of the baking paper. Then slice it and store in an airtight container.
You can vary the recipe by adding some chopped nuts (macadamia nuts add a nice buttery texture) or flavouring such as vanilla, lemon essence or cinnamon. They make great little gifts for the festive season and it’s easy to whip up a big batch for a large group or gathering.
Jasmine is a mum of two boys who loves making meaningful craft. She is inspired by the people around her to find 101 simple yet special ways to inject fun into their lives. You can find her at her craft blog at Gift Wrapsody.
Chugging along to Dinomama’s Festive Fare blogtrain
Enjoy the festive Christmas season everyone!