Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jam Shortbread

More shortbread, I'm afraid. I just can't help myself at this time of year. For me, shortbread and Christmas are inseperable. Every year my Mum would buy a tin of danish shortbread for Christmas Day. There were six or seven different types in little stacks of four or five and there was two layers in every tin. It was a highlight.

These shortbread biscuits in Apples for Jam (by Tessa Kiros) looked so good. I couldn't resist. They are exactly the sort of thing I would have relished as a child.

And how were they? Well, not bad. They tasted fine. But they were a bit too soft for my liking. I like crunchy crisp shortbread. I also did not use enough jam. The flavour was a bit lost in amongst all the biscuit. I used two types of jam - mango and passionfruit and blackberry. Surpisingly enough, the mango and passionfruit gave the best result in my opinion. The tanginess of the jam cut through the sweetness of the biscuit to give a lovely contrast.

On the plus side, they were easy enough to make. Tessa notes that the top layer of dough can be difficult to get into the tin. I got around this by rolling the dough onto a sheet of baking paper. Then I rolled both layers around the rolling pin and then unwound it across the top of the baking tin dough side down. Next, I pulled the paper very gently off the dough, using a blunt knife to prise the dough off in any sticky patches. It worked beautifully.

Jam Shortbread
(by Tessa Kiros from Apples for Jam)

Mix together 100gm of soft butter and 100gm of caster sugar. Work in 200gm of plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Add one lightly beaten egg and a few drops of vanilla.
Knead until smooth and rest in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Divide the dough in two and roll out both halves to fit a 30cm by 40cm baking tin, lined with baking paper. Fill the tray with one layer of dough. Spread with about 2/3 cup of jam. Add second layer of dough (see suggestion above).

Bake in 170C oven for 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the tray for 5 minutes. Cut into shapes with a cutter or a knife.


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