This recipe comes to you courtesy of my Auntie Sylvia. She is my favourite Aunt, guess how I know she is my favourite Aunt? She tells me that this is a fact every time I talk to her (so it must be true)!
She is a genius at shortbread, she makes them thick, crumbly and absolutely delicious. My late Uncle Bill used to make the best Victoria Sandwich I’ve ever tasted, so light that he could take on the W.I. any day. Baking really is in the blood.
I have fiddled with her recipe and made them comparatively thin as I’m sandwiching them together. This is a perfect gift idea for Mother’s Day (for my US readers – our Mothers Day is much earlier than yours in May, but there is nothing stopping you having a go at this recipe now).
- 220g Butter (at room temp)
- 350g Plain Flour
- 100g Caster Sugar (+ a little for dusting)
- Apricot Jam &/or Chocolate
Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until combined, no whipping until light and fluffy as you don’t want to incorporate air – you don’t need the shortbread to rise.
Sift in the flour and mix together, the warm butter makes this easy, but do not expect the mix to form a paste, just mix until you have a crumbly texture starting to clump together. If you over-mix you will get the gluten going and this will give you a chewy biscuit. Tip the mix out onto your work surface and press it with your hands until it comes together. It may still be a little crumbly, but don’t worry.
Roll out your mix on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Then cut out using a fluted 6cm cutter. If you don’t have a cutter you can slice the biscuits into squares or fingers. I’m making sandwich versions here with cut out letters to make a message.
If you are making sandwich versions roll your mix out to the thickness of a £1 coin. If you are making single layer biscuits then Auntie Sylvia makes them about 1cm deep, very indulgent.
Bake in a 150C (300F) oven. If you are making the thick version bake for 30 mins, but Auntie Sylvia warns that you should check on them at 25 mins. For my thinner version I baked them for 14 mins.
As soon as the biscuits feel a little more solid transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Melt 100g dark chocolate and pour it into a small piping bag. I always make my own paper piping bags, if you need to know how follow this link to a previous blog.
Snip the end off the piping bag, only a narrow tip is required and working quickly make lines of chocolate over the surface of your biscuits – the professionals call this ‘spinning chocolate’.
In a saucepan warm 3 tablespoons of jam, this makes the jam easier to spread otherwise you could break the biscuits. Take a biscuit, add a teaspoon of jam and spread the jam out with the back of the spoon and then top off with a biscuit with a letter cut into the surface.
Have you guessed what message I was spelling out? HAPPY MOTHERS DAY. My Mother in Law (Stan) is devoted to dark chocolate so the chocolate topped version are perfect for her, my Mother likes apricot jam so the letters version will suit her. Whatever you decide to do this weekend, if you can do, do it with your MUM!