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Gold, frankincense … and biscuits

‘Tis the season for sumptuous home baking – perfect for gifts, visitors or late-night indulgences alike.

By Sarah Heeringa. Photography Jane Ussher

Lavender shortbread

A classic Christmas biscuit with a dash of fresh lavender flowers for a hint of fragrance and flavour. Perfect with tea or as a gift

250g butter
4 heaped tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender flowers
2 cups flour
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Using a cake mixer, beat sugar and butter (softened but not melted) until pale and creamy. Mix in lavender, flour and salt.

Tip dough onto a lightly floured board or silicon baking sheet and lightly knead to shape the dough into a ball. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, until firm.

For shortbread circles, roll dough into logs, slice into rounds about 3-4mm thick, and lay out on a lightly greased baking tray.

For star-shaped shortbread, use a rolling pin and a lightly floured board or silicon baking sheet to roll dough to 3-4mm thick. Cut into shapes using a knife or star-shaped biscuit cutter. Transfer to lightly greased baking tray. Clump any extra bits of dough together for the next round of rolling and cutting.

Place prepared baking sheet in the fridge for 15 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked but not golden. Cool on a rack.

–Sarah Heeringa

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