Tag: shortbread

Almond shortbread recipe and the cute button cookie cutter

Almond shortbread recipe and the cute button cookie cutterAlmond shortbread recipe

Who doesn’t love the soft, crumbly, buttery taste of shortbread? It’s one of those melt in the mouth biscuits which- according to Beau, I don’t make nearly often enough. That and freezer cookies! 

I was requested to make a batch and when I had some leftover ground almonds I thought that they’d work well together – I’m a bit obsessed with almonds at the mo!  And my almond shortbread recipe was developed and loved. They were deeelsh. After the on-going shortbread fiasco of a few years ago I decided that now was the perfect time to have a play with my new button cookie cutter stamp.

Button cookie stamp

Almond shortbread recipe

My friend Emma (is it me or is everyone called Emma nowadays?) set up her own cookie stamp business Emma Jane’s Bakery, just before the birth of her daughter and she asked if I would like to have a play with one of the designs. Of course I jumped at the chance. I mean how great are they? Emma asked me to choose one and I have to say that I struggled. They’re all really cute. I went for this simple swirl design as I thought it would work on so many levels – biscuits for friends, christmas gingerbread gifts for teachers, shortbread for demanding eleven year old daughters!

Emma Jane's bakeryAs well as doing button cookie stamps (there’s eight to choose from) Emma also does a stamp for weddings, Christmas and she can even personalise them too. “Made by EmmaMT” sounds pretty good to me, but you can have baby’s names and birthdate for christenings, Mr & Mrs and the date for weddings, company logos – the list is endless. Go have a look and see.

Almond shortbread recipe

Almond Shortbread Recipe

  • 200g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 35g ground almonds
  • 225g plain flour (plus a bit extra for rolling out)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix the butter and sugar until completely combined.
  2. In a separate bowl sieve the ground almonds and flour and stir to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and almond extract to sugar and butter and mix until just combined. The less mixing you do the better and more crumbly the shortbread will be.
  4. Line a baking tray with silicon paper.
  5. Roll out the dough so it is around 1cm thick. Using the button stamp imprint the pattern into the dough. If your dough is really sticky give the stamp a light dusting of flour. Then use the circle cutter to cut out around each patterned biscuit. I found that by cutting the circles after imprinting the pattern I got a nice neat circle button. When I cut out the circle then tried to do the pattern I squished the shape and it wasn’t round anymore.
  6. Continue patterning and cutting till you have used all the dough up. Remove the excess dough from around the shortbread buttons then carefully lift each biscuit and place it onto the baking tray.
  7. Chill the shortbread on the baking tray for 30 minutes. This will prevent the biscuits from spreading and losing their shape whist baking.
  8. Pre-heat your oven to 160ºC (Fan oven140ºC) and bake the shortbread for 12 minutes. The edges will start to go slightly golden at the edges. If they go brown they’re overdone. 
  9. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling tray to cool down completely.
  10. Eat them all up!

Enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Almond shortbread recipe

Disclaimer: The cute button cookie stamp in this post was sent to me by Emma Jane’s Bakery (Thanks Emma. I’m gonna have fun using this one) All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

 

Why I don’t love shortbread (Part two)

Shortbread is a sticky subject!

So, yesterday I made shortbread biscuits. The reason I made them was to test that they would work as individual biscuits. I have had some shortbread nightmares recently when trying to do one big tray/mould bake.

My friend Astrid emailed me :
“ I’ve been trying to perfect my shortbread technique and it’s not going too badly (I find the rubbing technique works much better than creaming for me) but I wanted to use a mould I bought in a cook shop in Scotland and it’s not working: the dough sticks to the mould (it’s ceramic) and twice now I’ve had to scrape it off with a spatula, which defeats the object of having a patterned mould in the first place! Is there a different recipe I can use or a way of doing it so this doesn’t happen?”

So I set about finding a recipe that I thought would work best in a ceramic mould (I also treated myself to a cute Scottish Shortbread mould from Lakeland- thistles and all!) And used the shortbread recipe from yesterday which is here.

Round one

Grease the mould well

I used ‘Cake release’ which is a great non stick product (that I use with a lot of success with cakes) and applied it to the ceramic mould with a pastry brush so I could get into all the nooks and crannies.

Press the shortbread dough into the mould

To make the dough I used the rubbing method that Astrid used, popped it in the fridge for an hour then pressed it into mould.

The full mould

and baked it in the oven until it was a light golden brown colour.

Baked to perfection

But it didn’t work!  It got well and truly stuck. Even scraping won't get it out!

Round two

So, I tried again!
This time I blended the ingredients in the food mixer, creaming the butter and the sugar together before I added the dry ingredients. I chilled the dough overnight, greased the mould with butter and dusted it with plain flour, removing any excess.Butter and flour the mould
Then I rolled out the dough and pressed it into the mould lightly and baked it. Guess what? It got stuck again. It did taste good though – I tried to remove the shortbread  with a spatula and little pieces popped out. Don’t worry, none went to waste. It still won't come out!
 

Round three

Okay, so by now I was getting pretty annoyed. Why is it sticking? What am I doing wrong? I searched on Google and I messaged every Twitter foodie I could find. No one came up with any better ideas than the ones I had already tried. So I thought I’d go straight to the experts in baking equipment. I spoke to Lakeland direct!  Their advice was….

“Use a slightly lower heat and cook a little longer, to prevent sticking. The dough needs to be firmly pressed into the mould. It should be a toasty light brown when cooked. Be sure to let the shortbread cool in the pan before trying to remove.”

Well I decided I would give it one final shot using all their advice. And here’s the result!

I buttered the mould (or should I say caked it in butter?)

Rolled out the shortbread, placed it in the mould and pressed it into place. Baked it, left it to cool, placed it back in the fridge for an hour or so and….

 Grrrrrr!!

it STILL got stuck!!!!

So, I’m stumped! Do you have a clever trick for getting shortbread out of a ceramic mould? What’s the knack! If you can shed any light/ experience/ help,  we (Astrid and I) would love to hear your tips! Please post a comment below.

Many thanks,

Emma

Enjoy!

 

 

I love this Shortbread recipe (Part 1)

Shortbread biscuits make my mouth water!

Shortbread biscuits

I do love short bread, but I have also come to dislike it quite a lot too! (more on that in Part 2 tomorrow!)

Last week Beau, Darcey and I made a load of vanilla cookies to give as Christmas gifts. One was for our brilliant postie. He’s great and since going freelance in March I now have a lot of  heavy post including four magazine subscriptions Tim also has two, tons of press releases, books to review and products to test, so we keep him really busy and fit.

When he delivers he normally opens the porch door to drop the pile of post inside, so we left his tip and the cookies in that spot for him to find on his early morning rounds. The problem was that the post that day was just small letters and was put through the letterbox. The gift was still there waiting in the evening. And the same thing happened the next day! Then it was Christmas and there was no post for days and the vanilla cookies were not going to taste their best! So we have made him these shortbread biscuits instead.

Beau and Darcey are currently sitting by the living room window looking out for him as I type, so that we don’t miss him again!

Ingredients

225g Plain flour

100g Semolina

225g butter (at room temperature)

100g Caster Sugar

30g granulated sugar

To make the shortbread biscuits

Line baking tins with baking paper and set aside in the fridge. Heat the oven to 160°C, Fan 140°C, Gas Mark 3.

The ingredients

Measure out the butter and sugar into your mixing bowl and sift the flour and semolina into another bowl.

 Mix the butter and sugar

Cream the butter and sugar together until light in colour.

Add the flour and semolina

Add the dry ingredients and blend again.

Mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl

Continue to mix until the dough is formed and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Wrap in cling film

Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for an hour in the fridge.

Roll out the dough

Knead the dough as little as possible then roll it out. Use some plain flour to stop it sticking. Cut out your biscuits and give them a little space on the baking tin the shortbread will spread a little bit.
Use a fork to make holes in the biscuits

Use a fork to make holes to ensure that the biscuits cook right through. This method is usually for when you bake one large biscuit to be cut up later in a cake tin and the shortbread is much thicker, but I liked the pattern it made with the cookie cutter.

sprinkle sugar on top

Sprinkle sugar over the cookies.This will almost disappear on the shortbread but adds to the look and taste! I used granulated but you can use brown, cinnamon or Demerara sugar too.

Leave to cool

Pop the shortbread cookies in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are a pale golden brown colour. Then remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes before transferring them onto a rack to cool completely. Try to resist eating them whilst still hot. I can’t! I love them straight out of the oven!

Shortbread cookies gift bag

We placed the cooled shortbread into a zip-lock bag so that they were air tight (they need to be kept in an air tight container and also should be eaten within 2 days – this shouldn’t be a problem!) and then placed them into a paper gift bag tied with ribbon and mini baubles. I know Christmas is over but better late than never!  I hope he likes them!

More shortbread fun tomorrow!

Enjoy!

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