Ok, I’ll start with the shortbread first. This morning, my mum, rather tentatively asked me if I could post a biscuit recipe on the blog and not a cookie recipe. Apparently “not everyday cookies” – who knew?? So being the angelic daughter I am, fulfilled her wish for buttery, crunchy on the outside but melting in the middle, classic shortbread. Usually shortbread has just three ingredients – butter, sugar and flour but in my research I was drawn in by the whole cornflour/rice flour distraction. I went for that option and poured in a truck load of vanilla for good measure. It worked – she was happy, I was happy and M&S have lost another sale to the BBH testing kitchen.
It’s Ramadan. The auspicious and holy month of Ramadan. For those of you who may not know, this is when muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting prohibits food and water and is generally a time set aside for spiritual enlightenment and peaceful conduct. It’s a rather lovely time of year. Of course, it has fallen bang smack in the middle of our UK summer this year, so the fasts are the longest they will ever be, at around 19 hours. Yes, 19 hours. This means those few hours of darkness are vital for cramming in yummy things like shortbread and cake and regardless of whether you are fasting or not, these little things are worth making. The ease accounts for low energy levels and the satisfaction of dipping them in a hot cup of tea at the end of the day will probably make your day at least 10x better. It’s also Father’s Day. I know my dad will appreciate fresh biscuits (and the mahoooossive banana bread I made for him) at 9.30 this evening!
You can serve these however you like. Melted nutella or chocolate ganache serves as the perfect indulgent dipping sauce, lemon posset and shortbread is a classic dinner party match or serve simply with a cup of tea. These are a staple, dress them as you please!
Read more & keep scrolling for giveaway info!
Makes about 15-20 slices of shortbread
250g butter (salted or unsalted at room temperature)
125g golden caster sugar (you can use regular caster sugar)
1tbsp vanilla extract/paste/seeds of 1 vanilla pod (optional but worth it for the flavour)
250g plain flour
1) Heat the oven to 150FAN and line a square 8”/22cm tin with baking parchment
2) Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (around 3-5 minutes with a mixer, you can also do this by hand)
3) Weigh out the flour and cornflour separately and sift them together so they combine
4) Add the flours to the creamed mixture and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed slightly for another 30 seconds and you should get to the stage shown below. If you’re making these by hand, you’ll need to rub the creamed mixture in to the flour mixture using your fingertips working as gently as possible until you reach a similar stage, or a ‘breadcrumb’ stage. Don’t overwork the dough at this point – you want your biscuits to be as buttery and melty as possible!
5) Press the dough into the prepared tin and make indentations with a fork
6) Bake for around 55 minutes until slightly golden and set in the centre. It will still be soft. Sprinkle over some more caster sugar, coating the shortbread evenly. Let it cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before cutting and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure you cut it while it’s still warm but don’t move it around too much as it may crack!
So I promised you guys a giveaway for that 10,000 view milestone I hit! (It’s currently 12,500 but you know, better late than never!) I have teamed up with the lovely lot from DotComGiftshop to bring you an apron, an oven glove and a matching tea towel! These super cute items will be the perfect baking accessories and if pink isn’t your colour then I’m sure mums and sisters will love this set too! (Hint, my mum and I are hoping my brother enters)
There are TWO ways you can enter this giveaway – the first is simple: bake something from BakedByH, upload it to instagram or twitter and hashtag #BakedByHGiveaway. If your profile is private/you don’t have these apps, you can EMAIL me your submission at firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions will be uploaded to BBH at the end of the giveaway unless you specify otherwise!
Comment on this blog post with something sweet you would like to see on BakedByH and leave a first name & email address and you could be in with a chance of winning the gift AND I will post a recipe for what you want to see! Hope that makes sense!
You are more than welcome to enter more than once, or enter via both methods. The winner will be chosen at random. (Doing both doubles your chance – just saying!) The giveaway will close on Sunday the 5th July 2015 at 7pm. It is unfortunately only open to UK residents this time but next time I’ll make sure it’s international!
Check out www.dotcomgiftshop.com for super cool gifts. They have everything from practical kitchenware to quirky decorative items that you NEED in your house. Yes, there is such a thing as buying gifts for yourself – don’t sweat it!
Have a lovely week!