We told you we would have a special surprise for you in time for Christmas, didn’t we, well here she is…
We are very excited to announce that our friend, the ever-lovely Ruth Clemens, baker-extraordinaire, runner up of BBC2’s Great British Bake Off and founder of The Pink Whisk is guest posting for us this week!
Taking time off her busy schedule, which includes working with major UK brands, writing for magazines, teaching and promoting the launch of her new book, due for publish in April, Ruth has kindly shared one of her Christmas gift recipe favourites with us.
So without further ado, it’s over to Ruth and her deliciously simple recipe for Chocolate Shortbread – the perfect handmade Christmas gift – enjoy!
Chocolate Shortbread – Gifts for Christmas
125g salted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
175g plain flour
100g milk or dark chocolate for coating
Preheat oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until well combined.
Add the flour to the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully incorporated. The mixture will resemble moist breadcrumbs.
With clean hands, squeeze the crumbs together to form a ball of dough.
That’s it, shortbread dough made – easy peasy!
Lightly dust your worksurface with flour and roll out the dough to a 0.5cm thickness.
Time to cut out your biscuits, what type of cutter you use is up to you. Fluted cutters are pretty and using a 4.5cm diameter cutter you will get 26 biscuits. Why not use Christmas shaped cutter for a really festive look?
Gather together the trimmings, roll out the dough and keep cutting out biscuits until all the dough is used up.
Place the biscuits onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes or until firm.
Once chilled bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden around the edges.
Allow the biscuits to cool, still on the trays for 10 minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the biscuits are fully cooled it’s time for their chocolate coating. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of hot water or in the microwave in short 30 second bursts, stirring well after each.
One at a time dip them into the melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip away before lightly wiping the excess from the back of the biscuit on the edge of the bowl. Set back down onto the greaseproof paper.
Tip: To reduce mess and to stop the dough sticking to your worksurface the dough can be rolled out between two sheets of greaseproof paper.
Tip: If you want to get ahead for Christmas the uncoated biscuits can be frozen until you need them, once coated the biscuits will keep for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container.