The weather just lately has been so dreary, dull and grey – it seems to start getting dark at about 2 pm. Though we are all very happy and excited here (awaiting our new family member!), this afternoon I definitely felt the need to add a little colour to my day. So I decided to make my (rather delicious although I say so myself) chocolate orange shortbreads, and the afternoon was soon looking a lot brighter as I grated orange zest into my mixture – it felt as though a splash of sunshine had entered my kitchen. And the smell was wonderful ….
Soon it was time to roll out the dough. I have cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes but somehow I am always drawn to return to my old and much beloved family set …
No messing around with the smaller sizes here – straight to the second to largest. After all, these shortbreads must be good for you – all that orange goodness means plenty of vitamin C! I was being closely supervised of course ….
“Mum …. Mum! You really should give some to me! Look, I am so sad and hungry!”
Hmmm ….. Nice try Miss Daisy, but I am wise to you. I know exactly who stole Ben’s chew and hid it under the cushions. You are not sad and hungry at all!
The shortbreads need to be chilled for 30 minutes or so before baking for around 15 mins. When they’re cool, I simply smother their tops in melted chocolate. Then rather than instantly scoff these two, I took their picture first …
I’m definitely not the world’s best food stylist – I think I might have been a little anxious to skip the photography and start the eating haha!!
If you’d like to try your own, then here’s the recipe …
- 340 g butter
- 125 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of two large oranges
- 450 g plain flour
Beat the butter and sugar together until combined, then stir in the vanilla extract and orange zest. Add the flour then mix until the dough begins to come together. Roll out to 1 cm thick on a clean lightly floured surface. Cut out your biscuit shapes and place on lightly greased baking trays. Chill for 20 minutes before baking at 180 degrees C for 12 -15 mins. You’ll know they’re done when the edges begin to brown. Cool on the trays for 10 minutes or so, then transfer to wire racks. When cool brush with melted chocolate.
And after enjoying my cookies with a nice cup of tea it was back to sewing for me. Very appropriately I was working on the next project for the December issue of the magazine – a food mixer cover ….
Freestyle machine applique combined with some easy hand stitching – it would make the perfect gift for a keen baker – or to keep for yourself of course!