Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Shortbread landscape

0612 shortbread landscape
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

It looks home made, doesn't it? It is. I like that rustic home-made look. I have shortbread moulds, but don't use them very often - especially when time is pressing, as it was this morning.

This is lime shortbread, one of my Christmas specialities, and here is the recipe - a gift to you!

(all measurements are in metric, but any online converter will put them into imperial for you)



250g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lime and one tablespoon of lime juice
1 egg, beaten
500g plain flour, sifted (I usually take out 1/4 cup of this and replace it with 1/4 cup ground rice for that gritty shortbread texture which I prefer)
pinch salt


Cream butter and sugar, add zest and juice, beat, add egg, beat, add flour, beat. Kneading the mixture (turn it out onto a lightly floured board) will improve the texture (or let the mixer bing it around a bit longer). Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper, or grease it lightly with butter. Roll out the mixture and use Christmas cutters - stars, hearts, sheep, angels - to cut out the biscuits. Bake in a 160 degrees (Celsius) oven for about 20 minutes. Cool on the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cake rack to cool completely. You may decorate these with royal icing and silver cachou balls.

(Cheat's note: my landscape of shortbread is cooked in a lamington tin and cut into squares - the time-poor solution. You have to cook it for longer, of course...maybe 30-45 min? As you can see, I prick the top with a fork and slice it into small squares while it's still warm in the tin) (a lamington tin measures 11 x 8 x 1.5 inches).

I like the lime because it 'cuts' the thick richness of the shortbread. I'm not sure if purist shortbread recipes use an egg, but I find an egg enriches the flavour of biscuits (cookies if you're in the US) (or do we all meet on common linguistic ground with 'shortbread'?).


candyschultz said...

Ooh. Thanks for the recipe. I think I want to make that one soon. Merry Christmas.

Barb Clark said...

Hi Ruth, thanks for sharing your shortbread recipe, sounds yummy with the lime touch, I'm going to make some tomorrow.
merry christmas, Barb