This weekend, I swapped my paint brushes for a wooden spoon and attempted to make shortbread.
It was the perfect day for it. Outside it was miserable, grey and the rain was pouring down. I felt quite snug in my warm kitchen with a big mug of tea. Even the cat had taken refuge on my chair and had curled himself into the cushions. Not a day to be outside.
Not being an accomplished baker of biscuits, I wasn’t sure what all the terms meant, and being too excited to create something edible, I made my first mistake.
I now know that when a recipe says to ‘soften’ something, it’s something entirely different to ‘melt’. So, one gooey lot of mixture down the drain, I started again, this time letting the butter ‘soften’ on it’s own.
I had a bit of a stab at how to go about ‘creaming’ my butter and sugar together, but eventually ended up on the phone to mum.
My mum’s a bit of a genius.No matter how random the question, she always has a calm yet matter of fact reply that is always right. Do mums have training or is this something that automatically kicks in, in your forties?
How to remove any type of stain, how to turn up a hem to any desired length, the perfect recipe for a victoria sponge without a book …. All skills, I’m afraid, mum hasn’t biologically passed onto me!
After being calmed down by mum, and another cup of tea later, I somehow ended up with a mixture that looked like it should do. Back on the phone again to see how long to leave it in the oven – Surely ten minutes isn’t long enough?
If you fancy having a go, this is a yummy recipe – and if I can do it, I think it’s safe to say anyone can!
500g Butter, softened (not melted)
200g Caster Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
500g Plain Flour.
1. Preheat oven to gas mark 4.
2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Stir in vanilla and add flour. Beat the mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
4. Flatten your mixture onto a baking tray to about 1cm thickness and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
5. Once your biscuit is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Cut up into small finger portions and enjoy with a big cup of tea.