Shortbreads

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This is my last post for 2014. So I would like to finish this year with some festive recipe that can be made to give to your love ones. Most of all it involves having fun with the kids. I love to keep my kids busy and spent a lot of time with them because they are growing very fast each day. My older boy Eric just turned 5. My little Aaron is turing 2 in a few days. My niece Chloe who I love as my daughter also just turned 3. The kids love each other very much and always long to see each one another. In particular Miss Chloe really loves to cook and help out in the kitchen.

This shortbread recipe is a keeper for me. There are many recipes online for shortbreads, but I decided to pick one that I have all the ingredients. They turned out very good and yummy. The extract of the recipe is from the Thermomix Community posted by Erica Noble. Thanks Erica. I have modified the recipe slightly to suit my liking.

What can I say, the kids had so much fun cutting the dough with different shapes. If you are looking for something to do with your kids, why not give these shortbreads ago?

Wish everyone a safe and merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Recipe for Shortbreads

Time: 20 mins preparation, 30 mins rest, 15 mins baking
Makes: approximately 40 shortbreads

What you need:
50g caster sugar for sprinkling (optional) – I didn’t use it because I don’t like to overload my kids with sugar
110g caster sugar (less if you do not like sweet)
200g butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
1.5 tsp vanilla essence (I used vanilla pod, gives much better vanilla flavour)
300g plain flour
Extra flour when cutting

Process
1- Line two baking trays with baking paper

2- If using mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugar till pale and creamy on medium speed for about 15-20 seconds. If using thermomix, use speed 4 for about 15-20 seconds. Do not overbeat. The texture should look like a smooth paste rather than light and fluffy like you want it for making a cake

3- Add flour to the mixture and mix them till just combined. If using thermomix, knead for 10 to 20 seconds using the spatula through the lid whole to assist

4- Dust a clean dry surface with some extra flour. Tip the mixture onto the surface and knead lightly by hand till smooth. The dough should be very soft but shouldn’t be sticky. Knead in extra flour if necessary

5- Rub rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to about 1cm thick using rolling pin. If you do not have rolling pin, just flatten the dough with your palm. I did that even if I have a rolling pin. It is much faster.

6- Now the fun part begins: give different cookie cutter shapes to your kids and let them help cutting the dough. Dip the cutting shapes into flour first before cutting will help remove the cutters easily from the dough

7- Place shaped doughs onto lined tray with the help of thin spatula or a palette knife, spacing them out as they will expand slightly when in the oven

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8- Sprinkle with caster sugar (optional)

9- Chill them in the fridge for about 30 mins. I cheated and put them in freezer for about 5 mins

10- Preheat the oven to 160 degree celsius

11- Bake for 10 to 15 mins until just lightly golden. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate your tray so that your shortbreads are evenly cooked

12- Remove from oven and let them cool for another 5 mins then move them to stand on wire rack to cool off completely

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13- Store in a tight container or packed in gift bags and spread the love

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