Everyone seems to love crisp, buttery shortbread. The combination of citrus zest (I used ClemenGold but you can also use orange or Lemon) and Bay leaf (bay laurel, Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae) is a particularly good flavor combination. I have made two batches of this easy biscuit already in the past week and the family have made short work of them! I shall have to bake another batch for Christmas gifts tomorrow!
BAY AND CITRUS SHORTBREAD
125g Lightly Salted Butter – at room temperature
60g Castor Sugar
160g Cake Flour (or all purpose flour)
25g Maizena (Corn Flour)
20g Custard Powder (the old fashioned kind not instant custard powder)
5ml Orange Zest
1 fresh Bay Leaf
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Line some cookie sheets with baking paper or parchment and set aside.
Grind the bay leaf together with a little bit of the sugar in a pestle and mortar then add to the rest of the sugar.
Using a mixer or wooden spoon cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the ClemenGold zest and beat in.
Sift together the flour, corn flour, custard powder and salt then sprinkle onto the butter mixture and mix well just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and come away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto the counter.
Roll out the dough with a flour dusted rolling pin about ½ – 1cm thick.
Cut out the dough into shapes with cookie cutters.
Place the shapes onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for between 10 – 15minutes or until very pale brown and crispy.
Sprinkle hot shortbread with extra castor sugar and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
Package and tie with ribbon to make wonderful home baked Christmas gifts!
TIP: You can use all flour if you prefer but the secret to light crispy shortbread is to use a fine product like corn flour and custard powder.
Enjoy… and to all of my readers finishing off work today and travelling on holiday, I wish you safe travels and a wonderfully blessed and happy Christmas season from my home to yours!