My mother-in-law makes the best shortbread. Really, she does, I'm not just trying to butter her up before Christmas. She makes masses of it, cut into huge, palm-sized slabs. This time next week I am hoping to be eating a piece with a nice cup of tea and doing the crossword. Here's the recipe so you can hopefully do the same.
Lee doesn't flavour her shortbread but when I made a batch recently I added some powdered kawkawa, a Maori herb traditionally used as a tonic for its liver-cleansing properties. It has a pleasantly green, peppery flavour (and makes the shortbread pale green, which is pretty). You can find it here.
250g butter, softened but not melted
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 170C. Cream butter and sugar, either with a wooden spoon (and a strong arm) or in an electric mixer. Sift the dry ingredients and add, mixing well. Turn the mixture on to the bench and knead briefly to combine.
Usually, Lee forms the dough into a sausage shape, wraps it in clingfilm and sticks it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then she cuts off rounds about 1cm thick and places them on a tray.
At Christmas time, she rolls the dough out on a well-floured bench and uses a biscuit cutter to make stars. She then places them on a tray and puts the tray in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Whichever method you choose, prick each biscuit with a fork before baking for 15-20 minutes. The shortbread is cooked when it is firm to touch and starting to turn golden. Remove from the trays and let cool on a rack. Makes lots.
Have a sweet, sweet weekend, everyone. It's going to be wet and cold here, perfect baking weather!