Christmas Shortbread – it’s always a winner
The smell of baking Christmas shortbread is such a wonderful aroma to have floating around the kitchen. Everyone has their preference for traditional, or with a hint of lemon. Or something just a little bit different. It’s always great to have a recipe that adds a bit of pizzazz to it, don’t you think? So this one has festive colours in it. Which also add great flavours too! Those beautiful red cranberries, along with the green pistachios are fun and colourful. Of course, you can always leave out the cranberries and pistachios or just use one and not the other. It really depends on what you and your family enjoy.
Making it a bit healthier
It’s lovely to be able to indulge in something sweet now and then. But it is a great idea to keep an eye on how healthy it is as well. So, this great shortbread recipe ups the ante with fibre. We all know how good fibre is for us, so I’ve used wholemeal flour instead of plain white. It’s so much less processed, and therefore, much better for your digestion. It’s a simple swap that you can do, and, amazingly, you don’t notice the difference in the texture.
What makes the texture still so great?
Yep, I heard you ask. How could it be possible? Because I’ve had some terrible wholemeal shortbread in my time, and was reluctant to modify my tried and true recipe. But I did. So what did I do? (It’s not hard.) Well, I’ve added more rice flour than a traditional shortbread recipe. The fineness of the rice flour balances the slightly coarser texture of the wholemeal flour. And I creamed the butter and sugar to a lighter texture than I previously would have. There you go! Make the recipe and see for yourself.
- mixing bowl
- baking trays
- baking paper
- 400 grams butter softened
- 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1/4 cup pistachios roughly chopped
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla essence and rice flour and beat again until well incorporated
- Add the chopped cranberries and pistachios and mix gently
- Gradually add the flour. Usually the last cup is done by hand unless you swap to a dough hook.
- Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Place on a sheet of baking paper and shape into a log – it can be rectangular or round – whatever your preference it. Pop into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
- Heat oven to 160C. Link two baking trays with baking paper.
- Take the dough out of the fridge. Cut each log into about 20 – 24 slices and arrange on the baking trays. Bake for 20 minutes, but check after 10, and 15 because each oven is different in temperament!
- When baked, cook on cooling racks. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.