Christmas is looming, which means it’s now time for me to start revisiting a few festive favourites that are always well-received at this time of year. I thought I’d ease myself in gently by baking a batch of shortbread biscuits for the office but ended up doubling the recipe and making a batch for Michael’s office too.
If you’ve not made biscuits before then shortbread really is the place to start as they need three basic ingredients and almost no effort. Everyone loves their melt-in-the-mouth texture and rich buttery flavour, so success is guaranteed for even the most inexperienced baker.
- 250 g Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 125 g Caster Sugar plus extra for decoration
- 375 g Plain Flour
- Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Beat the sugar and butter together with an electric hand mixer (or pedestal mixer) until smooth.
- Sift in the flour and stir until you have a soft, smooth dough. Turn out onto the work surface and roll out until it's around 1cm thick - prick the top with a fork and sprinkle over a bit more caster sugar.
- Cut into the shape of your choice - fingers, triangles and rounds are traditional - then arrange onto the prepared baking sheets, before putting them into the fridge to cool for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C at this stage.
- Remove the baking sheets from the fridge and put straight into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 20 minutes until just starting to turn a pale golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks, before storing in airtight containers.