Been snowing for days here in the UK. Although snow is pretty, quiet and benign its alter-ego, Ice, is my sworn enemy, so snow days are mixed blessings as far as I’m concerned. I managed two excursions out yesterday, and one today, shuffling along death-lined pavements marked with the final slippery footprints of the elderly. Dog likes it, though, as evidenced below:
Anyway, god knows why I have attempted more baking today despite ShitOven seemingly getting hotter with each lighting. I’ve now sent a shortlist of potential replacements to the boyfriend. ShitOven’s demise is imminent. You’ll hear my gleeful cackles from space when it is finally deconnected and shat on from a great height by seagulls at the dump.
Shortbread, easier than you think and worth a go. I haven’t previously attempted it in ShitOven and won’t be doing so again, but don’t let that put you off. It’s really straightforward and bloody delicious and nice eating all year, not just for Xmas.
Plain flour – 200g
Caster sugar – 80g
Cornflour (not pictured, SORRY) – 50g
Butter, bit chilled still (I prefer salted, then you don’t need to add any more salt) – 175g
Beat the butter a bit till it starts to soften and cream. If you’re using a handbeater, this will probably happen – its a pain in the arse. Work through it.
Add the caster sugar and continue to beat till creamy and fluffy. I don’t do it to full-dissolving of the sugar stage cause I like a little texture in my shortbread. S’up to you.
Add the cornflower, kind of cutting it into the butter and sugar mix with the sharp side of a spatula.
Add the fine zest of two lemons (unwaxed) if you fancy, at this stage. I fancied. Bloody love lemon, me.
Add the plain flour and do the same…for as long as that works. You may need to get your hands in there at some point to encourage the final bits of flour to join the party.
Should look like the above – kind of breadcrumby but reluctantly able to stick together if pressured. Like some relationships.
On a board or your bench, press some of the mix together till it binds and kind of smoothens. Use a cutter or a knife to cut shapes.
You can totally do the whole pressing the full mix into a slice tin and cooking thing, but I thought these would have more chance in ShitOven if biscuit-sized, as would take less time to cook.
If you use a tin, fork-print the whole lot and cook for about 50-60 mins or so 140C oven, sprinkling with caster sugar straight away, then slicing into shapes when cooled a bit.
Voila. Shortbread rounds.
I covered mine with foil for the first half hour of the 35 mins cooking time. You shouldn’t have to.
I checked after ten minutes. The incineration was already underway. Fucking oven.
Sacrificial shortbread. Utterly ruined after 35 mins in the oven, only 5 of which were spent without a foil protection. Stupids.
Below are the survivors, dusted in caster sugar and cooling on a rack. Tasty.
I am in a terrible mood now, of course.