Christmas Shortbread

by - Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hello all! I don't know about you, but this christmas shopping lark is a bit stressful isn't it? The pressure to buy meaningful gifts for everyone you know often ends up in a whole lot of impulse buying, lots of money spent and a bunch of presents that end up shoved down the back of the sofa by this time next year. Although I think I managed pretty well to get things for my nearest and dearest in good time this year, I also wanted to get my craft on. With this in mind, I wanted to share with you a recipe that I used for my boyfriends mum's present this year - homemade shortbread! They're cheap, you can dress them up as much as you like and the person you're giving them to will know that you actually put some serious effort into their gift. Just follow the recipe below!

125g/4oz butter
55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g/6oz plain flour
Chocolate chips (as many as you like, I used three or four little chunks per shortbread round)
Decorative box or tin
Cake cases (to give the shortbread something to sit inside the tin)

Preparation method
Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
Cut into rounds (making sure they'll fit in your cases) and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and press in your chocolate chips/ pieces.  If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can try moulding them into little christmas trees or festive shapes. 
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Once your shortbread has cooled, stack them up in paper cake cases and put inside a decorative box.

Voila! Simple but heartfelt, home baking makes a great gift for in-laws, parents or family friends who appreciate a good classic bake-off.

Happy Holidays!

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