The best part about Christmas is the food, amiright? There’s nothing better than a mince pie and a mulled wine, or a festive gingerbread and hot chocolate.
I’m no Nigella Lawson, or a domestic Goddess in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination. Usually, when I try to bake it ends in tears and tantrums, but biscuits? Biscuits I can do. This shortbread recipe is so easy that even I can’t mess it up.
I decided to do a spot of baking on my day off and made these delicious salted caramel shortbreads after spotting the caramel flavouring in the shop. They taste amazing and smell incredible. I was dying whilst they were in the oven as the smell filled the kitchen and made me actually drool.
125g salted butter
55g caster sugar
180g plain flour
2 caps of salted caramel food flavouring
I actually accidentally picked up salted butter instead of unsalted, but it was a bit of a serendipity. The butter really added to the salted caramel flavour and I’m so glad that my happy accident worked out.
- Beat the softened butter and caster sugar in a bowl until they come together and are smooth. I began with a wooden spoon, but ended up using my fingers as it was so much quicker – more mess, more fun right?
- Sieve in the flour and work it into the butter and sugar. It feels as though the mixture isn’t working at first, but all of a sudden it comes together. Just keep kneading it together until it forms a dough.
- Then, add two cap-fulls of the salted caramel flavouring and it already smells so festive! I worked this into the dough to ensure an even(ish)
- On a floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it’s smooth, and around 1cm thick.
- I used star shaped cutters which I bought from Sainsburys, and then a range of other Christmassy shaped cutters from Home Bargains to cut my shortbread into different shapes.
- Pop the biscuits into the fridge for about 20 minutes, then pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5.
- After 20 minutes, put the shortbread into the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden and the edges start to brown. Leave them to cool for about five minutes. In this time, you can still manipulate the biscuit to straighten any edges you aren’t too happy with.
- Eat one (just one, yano, to check they’re not poisonous or anything….)
Once the biscuits have cooled, you can start to decorate them however you wish! I’ve used white piping icing, ready-to-roll fondant, pink food colouring and gold sugar.
On some stars, I did a snowflake-inspired decal, and on others, I thinly layered fondant on top and painted a watercolour effect with pink food colouring and water. Other stars got a dusting of icing sugar for a simpler look – this always reminds me of snow! I also made some trees, decorated with icing and gold sugar, and some gingerbread men (well, shortbread men)!
I am so happy with how these turned out and genuinely astonished that I didn’t set the kitchen on fire or burn myself. Have a lovely Christmas and I’ll speak to you all soon, I’m off to pop the kettle on and have a shortbread.