I am not the biscuit fan in our household. I never crave the chocolate indulgence of cookies or the buttery taste of shortbread. I have never debated whether a Jaffa cake is a biscuit or a cake, or whether to get the McVities or the Jacobs version. The idea of dipping a biscuit into a cup of tea confounds me- why would you do that to a nice cup of tea?
However my fiance‘s weakness is for biscuits in every form. M&S’s chewy double chocolate cookies are winners and every coffee break in the morning needs to be accompanied with at least 2 biscuits. In our desire to cook and bake more food from scratch, we decided to tackle biscuits recently, starting with shortbread.
Shortbread really is one of the simplest recipes out there, most commonly made with three ingredients- butter, sugar and flour. The combination of creaming butter and sugar and then folding in the flour makes a crumbly dry biscuit. Adding egg yolks to the recipe gives a much sturdier and less crumbly texture, and also seem to make the biscuits store better in an airtight container.
325 g plain flour
200 g cold cubed butter
125 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
Place the flour and butter in a food processor and whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and egg yolks. Pulse for a minute until it comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of clingfilm and shape into a log. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan. Cut the log into 5-8mm thick slices and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
Sprinkle over a bit of caster sugar and bake for 20 minutes until golden around the edges.
Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container.