December has arrived, which means that it is time for me to ramp up my Christmas baking! Every year, I make a collection of Christmas goodies to share with family and friends and to give to the kid’s teachers.
This year, aside from marinating the fruit for my Fruit Mince Pies, these Lemon and Rosemary Shortbread are the first Christmas baked good of the season. I also plan to make some gingerbread of some description, obviously the mince pies and I’m yet to decide what else. I enjoy getting the kids to help me during this time as it also helps to get them involved and share the Christmas spirit – they particularly enjoy choosing what shaped cutters we use. Claire chose the stars for these shortbread.
I chose the lemon and rosemary flavour combination as lemon is delicious in shortbread and rosemary adds a splendid fragrance and hint of savoury to a traditionally sweet biscuit. I was debating whether to use rosemary or thyme as both pair very well with lemon…maybe my next batch will be thyme. These are great with a cup of tea.
Last Christmas, I ordered a the patterned rolling pin I have used for this shortbread, but devastatingly, it arrived after I’d completed all my Christmas baking, so I was thrilled to be able to put it to use this year. I just wish that the imprint would stay as pronounced after it is cooked as what it is before it is cooked.
Making food as gifts is such a lovely personal gift for someone. A food gift does not specifically need to be Christmassy, it could be as simple as a jar of muesli or granola. If you would normally buy someone a box of chocolates at this time of year, why not try baking them something special.
- 200g plain flour
- 80g rice flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 225g unsalted butter
- 115g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Remove the butter from the fridge about 30 minutes before starting to allow it to soften slightly.
- Place the flour, rice flour, salt, lemon zest and rosemary in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Place the butter and icing sugar into the large bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and beat to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients slowly to the butter mixture and beat until combined. Remove from the stand mixer and place the dough onto a piece of cling wrap, forming the dough into a disk. Completely cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes or until firm.
- Once the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of ~50-70mm. If using a stencilled rolling pin, roll the rolling pin over the dough, pressing down firmly to form an imprint. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the shortbread and place them onto the prepared tray. Re-roll any remaining dough and continue to cut out shortbread until all the dough is used.
- Place the shortbread into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once completely cool, place into an airtight container and store at room temperature.