Shortbread is pretty traditional at this time of year, but who says it has to be plain?
This recipe results in shortbread which looks pretty and has very subtle flavours of mint and chocolate. It is easy to make, even with the three layers. Wrap these up in some cellophane and they would make a nice little gift for neighbours or friends.
If you don’t like mint then substitute another flavouring instead – hazlenut would work well. You can also amend the food colouring accordingly.
The recipe came from the December 2005 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine (Australian version).
Ingredients – makes about 24:
- 250g/9 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
- 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
- 1/4 cup cornflour
- 25g/1 oz dark chocolate, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint essence (or other flavouring of your choice)
- few drops of green food colouring (or use another colour to match your chosen flavouring)
Beat the butter and icing sugar together until fluffy, then add the two types of flour and mix to combine.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly until smooth.
Divide the mixture into 3 portions. Add the chocolate to one portion by kneading to combine, and add the peppermint essence and green colouring to another portion.
Take the chocolate portion and form it into a rectangle shape on your lightly floured benchtop. It will be about 1cm/0.5in thick. Do the same with the other two portions, making them identical in size to the first. You will end up with three rectangles.
Layer the rectangles of dough on top of each other. Press down slightly to sandwich them together into a brick.
Wrap the dough brick in cling film and refrigerate for an hour so it can become firm.
Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Once the dough has chilled, remove the cling wrap, cut the brick into slices and place onto the prepared trays. (The thickness of the slice determines the thickness of your finished shortbread.)
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the shortbread is just starting to turn golden (but watch them as you don’t want too much colour).
Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve and enjoy!