The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Easy and stunningly good shortbread.

Shortbread is like scones to me. Both took me most of my life to get right! Finally I have a recipe that doesn't crumble, break and be generally difficult. I don't know if it's been just me, surely not... 

Anyway yesterday I made this years, for Christmas. I made heart shaped biscuits for the neighbours, some for my husband to take today with his son fishing and a large round for Chloe to take to her work Christmas morning tea tomorrow. For those I added a pack of cellophane bags and red ribbons so that the girls can share the left overs and take home to their families.

The heart shaped ones I sealed in cellophane bags with a little ribbon.

This has a lot going for it. It cuts nicely into shapes. It is very inexpensive to make and give and much cheaper as gifts than say, fruit cake.

Also cellophane bags are wonderful things. They make food look professional. And these days you can buy them in cheap shops and they are only a few cents each. If you need a really large size use and oven bag, same effect.

The round one I made in a pizza pan. I packed it to go whole still in the pan, wrapped in cellophane and tied up with ribbon. This looks impressive! I lifted out a slice so you can see how it doesn't crumble... it slices beautifully and perfectly! 

So here is the recipe...

This is a big lot enough to make 2 trays of biscuits and one large round.

500g butter, melted.
1 and a half cups icing sugar and more on hand to sprinkle when you roll the dough,
3 teaspoons good vanilla essence,
4 cups plain flour.

Ok so just mix well together. The butter needs to be runny soft. Once combined knead it until smooth. If too wet add alittle flour or icing sugar so it doesn't stick to the board or your hands. Once smooth roll out and cut your shapes. Bake them on baking paper in slow oven around 160 degrees for about 15 mins. Every oven is different! You want slight browning but shortbread is pale. Also if you like crisp biscuits or if you prefer chewy biscuits go accordingly.

For a large slab I used a deepish pizza pan. Line with baking paper. I think it's easier to press it in than roll, it doesn't matter. Make a fraction less than a centimetre thick... Once it is flat and even slice it as you want it to be when it's finished. I sliced mine into quarters first, then divided more so it would be 12 pieces.  

Cook until lightly golden at edges... mine took about half an hour. Once out of the oven and while still hot re cut the lines you scored in. Do it carefully and neatly, right through. Let cool.

Now with you could do variations... glazed cherries pressed into it is divine and looks spectacular. So do chopped macadamia nuts, or both! Just gorgeous! 

On the slab you could have the kids press cherries and nuts into it as if decorating a pizza and then bake. 

Wrap prettily when cool. Spectacular present or table presentation. 
I hope this recipe helps someone as much as it has helped me. 


  1. Hi Annabel. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. Also, thanks for letting us know where to buy the cellophane bags. The presentation is so important and little things like that make all the difference :)Looks fantastic.

  2. Yes, thanks, Annabel :) I do love Shortbread and have tried a couple of recipes in making it. Thanks, also, for the presentation ideas :) Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi Annabel!
    I know this is an older post, but I was directed here from one of your newer posts :) I needed something quick for a "finger food" buffet at my women's group and decided to make these. Well! What a lovely recipe! The cookies came together very easily and they were tender and buttery. So delicious! I plan to make more this weekend and give to neighbors! I cut the dough with a small snowflake cutter and sprinkled with course sparkling white sugar. So pretty. Can't wait to wrap it up in a cello bag and distribute. Thank you for sharing such a delightful recipe!

    1. Dear Jenn, Thanks for letting me know you liked it. I always had trouble with shortbread being crumbly then found this.... it is so easy and good! Im glad you liked it! Many thanks, Love

    2. Anyone tried to freeze this cooked?

    3. I guess you could... or freeze the dough and cook it from frozen is another option for fast biscuits!

  4. Annabel, I'm here after starting on your blog during the pantry preparations and had to go back to the beginning to see what I missed. I'm pinning so many wonderful ideas! Just a note for any USA ladies, the F temp for these would be 300-325°. :)

    1. Dear Kay, Thank you so much! And thank you for the temperature conversion.
      I am so glad to have you here! Love


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