Easter cookies


Classic shortbread

This is the second post in my Easter series. I've spent my time playing like a little child and I've had such a wonderful time baking and decorating these shortbread cookies!

I followed a classic shortbread recipe and made one batch with cornflour, and another with rice flour. Although I used both ingredients before, I'd never used them at the same time and or seen how they compare. Cookie after cookie, I decided that I don't have a preference, as both versions are excellent in their own way - rice flour gives a granulated, crunchy biscuit, while the ones made with the cornflour melt in the mouth. You know what you like best.

Classic Shortbread
Easter cookies

250g salted soft butter
100 g caster sugar
10g vanilla sugar
250g plain flour
125g cornflour or rice flour

Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3 1/2
Cream the butter and sugar, add vanilla sugar, then gradually sift the combined flour and cornflour (or rice flour), mix unitl it binds together, then knead with your hands until smooth, but don't overwork it. Wrap it in a cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough to 5-6 mm thick, then cut into shapes of your choice. Line the baking sheets with a parchment paper and bake for about 15- 20 minutes. Let them cool for few minutes before transferring them carefully to a wire rack..

For the decoration I used the ready to roll icing, natural food colouring and stencils. Simply roll the icing, stencil it if using a stencil and cut to the same shapes as the cookies. Use a drop of water to put them together. Few cookies I topped with moulded melted chocolate (duck, bird, Easter egg, bow).

Instead of vanilla sugar, you can use an orange zest and pinch of ground cardamom seeds, or lemon zest, cinnamon, even salt and pepper.

Adapted from Bake and decorate by Fiona Cairns

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