Tag Archives: shortbread

Spring (and shortbread) madness

So spring has finally arrived. It seems as if everything and everyone is making the best of the warm(ish) weather, and I am no different. I’ve been for long walks and picnics in various parks and just generally chilled. For now, I just intend to make the most of my free time, so in addition to working my way through the library and making a few stabs at my own writing, I’ve also walked around the city sketching whatever catches my eye. Looking at my surroundings with an artist’s eye really does make a difference – so many things stood out that I previously did not notice.

I often have my head in the clouds, but I do want to share some pictures that I feel best sum up my wanderings over the past week:

Image Continue reading Spring (and shortbread) madness

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Baking therapy

So today I had two lots of disappointing news. I won’t bore you with the facts but suffice to say it definitely crushed me today.

Well, I got home and then immediately started baking. First I started with shortbread. It’s a simple recipe, with only three ingredients: butter, sugar and flour. The recipe is one from the ever faithful BBC Food website and every time I make it the shortbread comes out perfect. Also, while the original recipe suggests dusting with icing sugar, I didn’t have any; however castor sugar seemed to work just fine.

I’ve been making the shortbread as presents and this picture was taken after I’d wrapped them, so I had to hastily unwrap one for the camera.

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Next I decided to make Baci di Dama cookies. I was reading a blog written by a chef called David Lebovitz. He’s American but he lives in Paris and the pictures of the food he makes never fail to make me salivate. It might just be because I have a huge sweet tooth and he tends towards cakes and desserts.

Anyway, I’d spotted the recipe for these cookies and have been meaning to make them for ages, but the main ingredient is hazelnuts, and I keep forgetting to buy some.

Well, I finally got round to it and decided that today would be as good as any to finally make these lovely cookies. The dough was fairly simple and kneading it by hand was strangely satisfying. While dividing the dough into marble-sized balls, I couldn’t resist trying it. After all, it was simply hazelnuts, butter, sugar and flour. Delicious.

Another note is that I made my cookies with wheat flour, which was the alternative to the rice flour recommended in the original recipe. As I’ve not tried the rice flour version I can’t really compare the two, but the cookies I made tasted and looked fine to me.

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Baking each batch only took about 11 minutes per batch and I made 4 trays of hazelnutty goodness. After they were baked I let them cool, and then sandwiched melted dark chocolate between two dome-shaped cookies. This is the result:

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I have to admit that dinner tonight consisted almost entirely of ‘misshapen’ shortbread and Baci di Dama cookies. Well, I did have an apple, a pear and an orange. That’s already three of my five a day!