It’s time to get baking something extra special for Christmas. Shortbread is a classic country recipe but by cutting festive shapes such as stars, trees, circles and decorating them with nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts, and sprinkles and icing you can make them look really special. Arrange them in a little decorative box and you have the perfect homemade gift too.
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
25g ground rice
125g firm slightly salted butter, diced
½ tsp rose extract
75g caster sugar
Small handful of unblanched almonds
Decorations, such as white icing, white sugar sprinkles, edible pearls, gold food colouring, chocolate and nuts
1 Put the flour, rice and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the rose extract and sugar and blend to a firm paste. Wrap and chill for at least
2 Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Grease 2 baking sheets. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 5mm thickness. Cut out festive shapes and space slightly apart on the baking sheets. You could cut out stars from the middle of some rounds or press almonds onto others. Make holes with a skewer if required.
3 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until just turning pale gold around the edges. Re-mark the holes with a skewer if necessary. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack.
4 Decorate the biscuits – see picture for ideas.
Read more →