Why not make your own festive shortbread and place in a pretty tin as a foodie gift for friends?
- 325g/11oz plain flour
- 200g /7oz butter, chilled
- 125g/41/2oz golden caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2-3 baking trays lined with baking parchment
Set the oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas 4. Place the butter, flour and sugar in a food processor and blend until it makes fine crumbs. Add the egg yolks and continue to blend until the mixture clumps together (or rub the butter into the flour until it forms bread crumbs, then stir in the sugar and egg yolks and beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough).
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
Roll the mixture out on a lightly floured work surface and cut out your shapes.
We use fluted round cutters for some, using a smaller cutter to take out the centre of some to make ring shapes. We placed a doiley over some round shapes, and rolled lightly with a rolling pin to leave a pattern, and used fluted square cutters. To make the Christmas tree shapes we used a large tree cookie cutter. Make sure you cut a bottom and a top biscuit. In the top biscuit dough, cut little holes using various sized piping nozzles. We also used some square cutters. To decorate we used the end of a small star shaped piping nozzle or a wooden skewer to indent a pattern, or used the end of a large piping nozzle to cut out small holes in the dough.
Place your biscuit on the baking trays. Bake for 10-15 mins depending on size and thickness, or until just pale golden. Allow to cool for 10 mins on the baking trays then cool completely. If liked, sandwich the biscuits with jam, dust with icing sugar and tie with ribbon.
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