Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shortbread Assortment

The family will love this selection - it's fun to prepare and quick to bake. Recipe makes about 30 cookies.


4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/3 cup cornflour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring essence
Egg white, to glaze
Toppings and Flavorings:
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Crushed sugar cubes or dessicated coconut
Raspberry jam
Mixed nuts, chopped
4 teaspoons dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 2 or 3 baking trays.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Sift the flour and cornflour over; stir in the vanilla. Knead gently. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces.
3. Knead the cinnamon into one piece of dough. Divide in half and roll into two 12 inch (30 cm) ropes. Cut each into 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths. Form into horseshoe shapes and mark with a fork.
4. Roll out a second piece of the dough very thinly. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Roll the trimmings into logs. Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with the sugar or coconut.
5. Roll out the third piece of dough. Stamp out four 3 inch (7.5 cm) rounds and four 2 inch (5 cm) rounds. Using the end of a piping tube, stamp out the center of the smaller rounds.
6. Brush the large rounds with egg white. Put the smaller rounds on top and spoon the jam into the center. Brush with the egg white and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
7. Knead the chocolate chips into the remaining dough. Roll into 6 balls and flatten.
8. Put the shortbread on the prepared baking trays and bake, in batches if necessary, for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tip: To make chocolate shortbread, follow the recipe above but substitute 1/4 cup of cocoa for the same weight of flour.

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