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Tag Archives: shortbread

Sugar Shortbread Cookies

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I love cookies and make a load of them every other week. There are always small – and big children – in my world who need feeding with…cookies of course!

I have been experimenting with a Mary Berry recipe for biscuits that I found online.  See here for Mary’s recipe. It’s actually a basic shortbread recipe, ie butter, flour, sugar (no egg) with some add ons. I’ve made my own version, as outlined below.

Ingredients
175g butter, softened
100g raw sugar
75g sweetened condensed milk
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g semolina
2 tablespoons raw sugar, for rolling
50g milk chocolate chips

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan forced.

Line 1 large baking tray or 2 smaller trays  with baking paper.
I make the dough in a food processor, but you could make it in an electric mixer – but the food processor method is super easy.

Put the butter, sugar, condensed milk, flour and semolina into a food processor and  process until the ingredients come together into a soft dough. It’s better to process in a few bursts so that you can make sure you don’t over process.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Bring the dough together into a ball, and then shape into long sausages about 5cm/2″ diameter for smaller cookies or 8cm/3″ diameter for larger cookies. You need to make two sausages as it’s easier to shape them if they are not too long.

Wrap the sausages in cling film. They will still be quite soft, so you can continue to shape in the cling film, tightening the sausage shape. At this point put in the fridge and rest for at least a couple of hours to make the dough easier to cut into discs. You can leave overnight and the dough freezes really  well too!

Remove from the fridge, umwrap, and with a sharp knife, cut into slices – the thickness is up to you. Roll each cookie on both sides in raw sugar, gently pressing the sugar into the dough. Place the cookies onto the baking sheet/sheets, with space in between. They do spread a little, but largely keep their shape.

Once on the trays, you can leave as is, or press  chocolate chips individually onto the top of each cookie. It sounds labour intensive but actually doesn’t take that long!

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. If you cut your cookies quite thick they may take a couple of minutes  longer.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Salted Peanut Streusel Slice

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I like a good slice, or traybake as they are known in the U.K. In Oz they’re known as a slice, but years of devoted watching of The Great British Bakeoff have taught me that a slice by any other name is a traybake in the UK!

Do you love salted peanuts? I’m mad on nuts, preferably salted, so I have created a slice or traybake to incorporate shortbread, peanuts and a streusel topping.

For the shortbread base, I have used a Mary Berry biscuit recipe which is my latest go-to cookie recipe as it’s quick, rolls out easily and freezes well for future cookie adventures.

And the streusel is just butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon roughly combined.

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:

175g butter, softened

75g caster sugar

175g  plain flour

75g semolina

For the streusel:

50g butter

50g caster sugar

50g plain flour

1tsp cinnamon

Plus

100g salted peanuts in their skins

Extra butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C fan forced, 180 degrees C non fan forced. Line a rectangular baking tray – the kind with the low sides that you can make a Swiss roll in – with baking paper. My tray is 27cm x 17cm.

To make the shortbread base, put the butter, sugar, flour and semolina into the bowl of a food processor and mix until a soft dough is formed.

Remove the dough from the processor, and with your hsnds, gently bring the dough together. You could roll it out into a rectangular shape to fit your tray, but it’s just as easy to take pieces of dough and squash into the tray, smoothing and joining as you go. Just make sure the base is a uniform depth.

Make the streusel by pulsing everything in the food processor, being careful not to overmux – you want clumps of rubble streusel mixture for the topping. Put the streusel mixture over the shortbread base, covering all the shortbread.

Scatter over the salted peanuts. Dot the mixture with a little extra butter. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven until the top is golden and the shortbread underneath is cooked.

Remove from the oven, cool in the tray, and cut into slices when completely cool.

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Raspberry and Passionfruit Melting Moments

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Melting moments  – lovely shortbread style cookies filled with buttercream, jam, passionfruit, really whatever sits comfortably between two biscuits!

I made a couple of batches recently. I was experimenting with the technique of striping colour into the biscuit, by painting food colour into the piping bag before filling it with cookie mixture, an idea inspired by an episode of The Great British Bakeoff.

I made raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream melting moments and melting moments sandwiched with passionfruit buttercream.

For the raspberry ones, I used red food colour for the stripe, for the passionfruit ones, I mixed yellow and red food colour to make orange. Yellow on its own didn’t stand out as a colour.

The technique for both is the same: simply paint a stripe using a pastry brush down the side of the piping bag, add your mixture, and pipe. I used a small star shaped nozzle.

Ingredients

Melting moment biscuits – both versions

220g softened butter

100g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g plain flour

75g cornflour

Buttercream – both versions 

50gsoftened butter

100g icing sugar

For raspberry melting moments, you need enough raspberry jam to fill 8-10 melting moments and 1 quantity of buttercream plus some vanilla extract.

For passionfruit melting moments, you need the juice from 2-3 passionfruit, strained.

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C. For each batch, line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until well creamed. Add flour and cornflour and mix until the flours are incorporated. Alternatively, you could use a food processor. I have used both – purists would say the electric mixture creams butter and sugar better.

Place the dough into the piping bag prepared with your colour. Pipe small shapes onto the baking sheets, allowing room for spreading.  Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are a light golden colour and slightly firm, swapping trays half way through the baking. Remove from the oven, and after 10 minutes, put the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the buttercream icing, cream the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer or food processor until light and fluffy. Add a dash of vanilla extract for the raspberry melting moments. Add the strained pasionfruit juice for the passionfruit melting moments.

To assemble the raspberry melting moments, spread one melting moment with raspberry jam and pipe buttercream on top. Sandwich with another melting moment.

To assemble the passionfruit melting moments, pipe one melting moment with passionfruit buttercream, and sandwich with another biscuit.

Both are quite delicious!

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Chocolate, Caramel and Peanut Butter Slice

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Ingredients

200 gms butter, softened
70 gms caster sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
250 gms plain flour
1/2 cup dulche de leche* or Nestle Top ‘n’ Fill Caramel
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
175 gms chopped dark chocolate

*Dulce de leche is a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from the caramelization of the product, changing flavour and colour. You can buy jars of dulche de leche in some supermarkets and specialty food shops.

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with baking paper.
In a food processor, mix 175 gms butter,  sugar and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix until the mixture just comes together. Press into the prepared tin, then bake for 15 -20 minutes or until golden. Cool in the tin.
Place the dulche de leche and peanut butter  in the food processor and mix until  combined. Spread  the caramel/peanut butter mixture over the shortbread and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
Stir the chocolate and remaining butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Cool slightly, then spread over the caramel layer and refrigerate until set. To serve, cut into squares with a sharp knife.
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Lemon Delicious Slice + Crumble Slice

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Here are two slice recipes that are easy to make, keep well and freeze. Lemon Delicious Slice has a tangy lemon topping on shortbread; the Crumble Slice is actually a recipe for a crumble topping that I discovered baked really well as a slice!

Lemon Delicious Slice

Ingredients
Shortbread base
150 gms butter, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tbl cornflour
1 1/3 cups plain flour
Icing sugar, to serve

Lemon topping
4 eggs
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/3 cup plain flour
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced. Grease a 16cm x 26cm baking tin. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on all sides.
Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1 minute or until melted. Set aside to cool. Stir in vanilla and sugar. Sift flours over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a soft dough forms. Transfer to prepared tin. Press into tin. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool.
To make topping, whisk eggs, lemon rind, flour and sugar together until smooth. Add lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Pour over base. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. Cool completely in tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut into pieces.

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Crumble Slice

Ingredients
100 gms plain flour
75 gms  butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
50 gms dark brown sugar
25 gms golden syrup
50 gms rolled oats
20 gms chopped nuts ( macadamias or blanched almonds work well)

Method
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a16cm x 26cm baking tin with baking paper.
Place the flour, butter, salt and sugar into a bowl, and rub the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture forms coarse breadcrumbs.
Place mixture into the bowl of a food processor, add golden syrup, oats and chopped nuts, and pulse gently to combine.
Turn out the crumble mixture onto the lined baking tin, spread the mixture evenly and bake the crumble for about 15 minutes, until the crumble is just set. It will be a little soft when it comes out of the oven.
Remove from oven, cut into slices and cool completely in the tin.

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