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Wednesday, 10 November 2010
In Shetland a decorated shortbread was traditionally broken over a bride’s head before she entered her new home.
Shortbread was classified as a bread by bakers to avoid paying the tax placed on biscuits.
The Scottish custom of eating shortbread on New Year’s Eve derives from an ancient pagan ritual of eating Yule Cakes.
January 6th of each year is National Shortbread Day.
4oz/100gms caster sugar
8oz/225gms plain flour
4oz/100gms cornflour for a denser biscuit or rice flour for a crisper lighter texture
pinch of salt
Cream softened butter and sugar.
Add the sifted flours and salt gradually and mix well
Turn out onto a floured worktop and knead lightly into a round
Roll out and cut into biscuits
Roll into a long cylinder, wrap in cling film and set in the fridge for about 30 minutes then slice into biscuits.
Bake at 350F /180.C /160.C Fan/ Gas 4 for about 15 - 20 mins or until golden
Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm.
Makes about 30 biscuits with a small cutter
Replace 50gms/2 oz flour with cocoa and/or add chocolate chips.
Add grated rind of and orange (this is lovely with the chocolate)
Add grated rind of a lemon
Add sweet spice in any combination or on it's own such as cinnamon, mixed spice or ginger.
Use soft brown sugar to give a hint of caramel
Add earl grey tea
The possibilities are endless. Just a little imagination. They can be as plain or fancy as you like.