Sunday, March 23, 2008

A short-breaded Spanish affair

Now, I've never met anyone who has not been completely enamored with shortbread so I'm sure you'll understand. I love shortbread, I really do though like any passionate relationship we occasionally go through rough patches and periods when we feel we'd rather be alone. After sitting with SB in the cold for too long, sometimes I think I'd find more pleasure in tearing my own hair out than nurturing it's sweet and buttery potential. I know what you're thinking and don't hate me just yet. Although I often think that when the going gets tough, sometimes it's better to just keep going; when those discs come out of the oven I get that warm and fuzzy feeling all over again. Like the first time SB touched my lips - I felt that oh so close to heavenly-sweet, melt-in-the-mouth sensation. Until that moment I was living my life blissfully unaware that this sort of pleasure existed. It's a complex relationship full of trials and tribulations but I don't think I'm ready to let go just yet.

450 g unsalted butter, softened
220 g pure icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
220 g almond meal
500 g plain flour, sifted
Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer on low speed.
Add aromatics and almond meal and mix on low speed to combine.
Fold through the flour gently.
Cover and rest in the fridge for half an hour.
Roll out between sheets of baking paper to 3mm thickness, refrigerate.
Preheat convection oven to 180ÂșC and line baking trays with paper/silpats.
When firm, cut dough into required shapes and place onto trays immediately*.
Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden.
Rest on trays until firm then finish cooling on wire racks.

* If biscuits become too soft to handle, simply place them back in the fridge.

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