A baking post? Who do I think I am?!
It's been far too long since I have been allowed back in the kitchen after last time's disaster. The surfaces have only just recovered and some of the baking equipment, I'm sad to say, has not. But the other day when I was searching for an excuse not to go out into the nippy weather, (because, baby it's cold outside) I decided to get my floral apron on and have a bake. And what better than a festive recipe? For, if you haven't already gathered, I am a bit of a Christmas fanatic. This is the time of year when I will just spontaneously burst into carols at any given moment and count down the days until it is socially acceptable to wear tinsel in my hair. Is it too soon?
I found the original recipe from here and changed the measurements into grams. Thank goodness for Delia Online, is all I can say!
You will need:
300g plain all-purpose flour
170g caster sugar
100g dried cranberries
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Turn your oven on! 180 degrees, please, friends. Don't forget.
I may have forgotten. I was too busy making a yule tide playlist. I actually have three Christmas playlists now which are rated on a scale of cheesiness, from mild She & Him to extra mature Mariah Carey.
I tried really hard to follow the recipe this time, which is unusual for me as I often just throw all the ingredients into a bowl, whizz it with the hand whisk and hope for the best. I even used a sieve.
Sieved flour looks like snow which lead onto a heartwarming rendition of 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas'. Bing Crosby, eat your heart out.
Add all the ingredients into a bowl apart from the cranberries. Their time will come.
Stir with a spoon and when the mixture is doughy, add in the cranberries.
You might want to knead with you hands. You might not. It was at this point that I tried to use my trusty electric whisk. The dough was too thick and did not enjoy that one bit.
Then, pat out the mixture flat onto a baking sheet on a tray. It's up to you if you pat it in the rhythm of 'Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer'. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. I find I like to nervously wait for them to cook, knelt down on all fours in front of the oven. You don't have to. When it's cool, cut the shortbread into shapes. I worried that the biscuits would be too hard to cut them into shapes after they were baked, but I was wrong! They came out fine. I chose to cut then in heart shapes so no one would confuse them with my salt dough decorations (which are not edible, children).
Enjoy with a festive herbal tea and a Christmas edition of your favourite magazine.
'Last Christmas I gave you my shortbread heart...'