Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Wholemeal Clotted Cream Shortbread with Chestnut Flour and Cinnamon

Clotted Cream Shortbread

Biscuits, Christmas | 23rd December 2016 | By

Well, Christmas is nearly upon us and this will be my last post now until next year. So I’m leaving you with these delicious wholemeal clotted cream shortbread with chestnut flour and cinnamon.

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Almond Rye Shortbread with Whisky Raspberry Cream

Recipe for crumbly, chewy almond rye shortbread with a robust but delicious flavour. Unusually, but as the name suggests, this shortbread is made from rye flour and ground almonds. It’s also flavoured with cardamom, although that bit is optional. Tart raspberry cream with whisky compliments it wonderfully well.

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Ginger Shortbread

Biscuits | 8th January 2014 | By

I really thought the orange and cinnamon shortbread was going to be my final shortbread bake – for this Christmas season anyway. But somehow, I found that the chilli and all the other flavoured shortbreads just weren’t quite enough – where was ginger in the equation? Friends recently had an Open House to show off the beautiful home they have now finished building. You can find out more and see some fabulous pictures on the Pentiddy Housebuild 2013 blog – the interior is just how I imagine a hobbit hole to be.

Although it wasn’t actually raining, I felt a warming spice was needed, so I baked some ginger and white chocolate shortbread biscuits and took them along. I also sent a box off to a friend as a New Year’s present. These were the first biscuits I’ve ever sent by post, so I was relieved to find they arrived in one piece.

Just before Christmas (as in Christmas Eve!), Wilko sent me a delightful “Home Made” vintage  cookie press, which also had “Baked with Love” and “Eat Me” options. It arrived a little late in the day for Christmas biscuits, but I was keen to try it out, having exhausted the Christmas stars, hearts and snowflakes.

The stamp worked really well. The rubber moulds are interchangeable and can be washed separately as needed. They fit well on the handle and are not too difficult to remove. My only complaint was that, although there was a hole in the handle for a piece of string, there was no string supplied, so I had to hunt around for something appropriate. I had to dip the mould in flour between each stamp to avoid sticking, but I was working with a particularly sticky dough. I should really have taken a picture before they went into the oven as the crisp lettering in the dough looked really good. Sadly, the writing didn’t hold through the baking process and the words could not be deciphered. Note to self: this stamp does not work with shortbread. I also managed to overdo the 2nd batch, which was a bit frustrating. However, the biscuits tasted fabulous and the lumps of ginger gave a welcome chewy texture and were as warming and spicy as I’d hoped.

This is how I made:

Crystallised Ginger Shortbread Biscuits

  • Softened 50g of good quality white chocolate by putting it in the mixing bowl and placing it on the storage heater for ten minutes.
  • Added 170g of unsalted butter cubed and left to soften.
  • Creamed the butter and chocolate with 75g golden caster sugar until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
  • Added 50g finely chopped crystallised ginger and creamed some more.
  • Sifted in 175g plain flour (half wholemeal, half white), 80g brown rice flour and a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt.
  • Stirred until incorporated, then formed into a ball and left in my cold kitchen to firm up for half an hour.
  • Rolled out to about 6mm thickness and stamped out 28 circles. I then stamped them with the “Eat Me” stamp, which I had to dip in flour each time to prevent it sticking.
  • Left to firm up in my cold kitchen for 15 minutes.
  • Baked for 9 mins at 180°C until just golden.
Thanks to Wilko for sending me a cookie press to try out. There was no requirement to write a positive review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Orange and Cinnamon White Chocolate Shortbread

Biscuits, Gifts | 25th December 2013 | By


Wishing all my readers

A
Very
Merry
Christmas

And I leave you with yet another Christmas shortbread recipe – a spicy and citrussy one this time.

This is how I made:

Orange and Cinnamon White Chocolate Shortbread

  • Softened 50g of good quality white chocolate by putting it in the mixing bowl and placing it on the storage heater for ten minutes.
  • Added 170g of unsalted butter cubed and left to soften.
  • Creamed the butter and chocolate with 85g golden caster sugar until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
  • Added the grated zest of an organic orange and creamed some more.
  • Sifted in 175g plain flour (half wholemeal, half white), 80g brown rice flour, a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt and 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Stirred until incorporated, then formed into a ball and left in my cold kitchen to firm up for half an hour.
  • Rolled out to about 3mm thickness and stamped out snowflake shapes getting about 60 biscuits in total. I also tried to make some buttons, but they didn’t quite work out as planned.
  • Left to firm up in my cold kitchen for 15 minutes.
  • Baked for 7-8 mins at 180°C until just golden.
  • Dusted with fine caster sugar whilst still hot, then transferred to a wire rack to cool and harden.
  • Packaged up into bags, then added labels and ribbons.
I did manage to snaffle one to try and they were quite delicious with a good Christmassy flavour.
I’m submitting these to the Spice Trail with Venesther over at Bangers & Mash. The chosen spice this month is cinnamon.

A Plethora of White Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits

Biscuits, Gifts | 18th December 2013 | By

 

I was so pleased with the chilli white chocolate shortbread snowflakes that I made last month, that I seem to have done nothing else recently but make more shortbread biscuits based on that recipe. I was baking for a friend’s birthday party recently and thought it would be fun to make “after dinner” tea and coffee biscuits. With 100 guests expected, I made two batches of the biscuits resulting in about 110 in total. To one I added Japanese matcha tea powder to give an intriguing tea flavour and green colour and to the other I added some ground coffee which gave an interesting speckled look and a mild but definite coffee flavour. These proved to be rather popular, especially, it seemed, for scooping up a very large trifle that had been made for the occasion. Even more recently, I made over 60 lemon and cardamom biscuits for my last day at work. I haven’t quite decided what biscuits I shall be making for Christmas this year, but as I’ve ordered some organic oranges, I’m currently in favour of making some orange and cardamom white chocolate shortbread biscuits. By the new year, I suspect I shall be thoroughly fed up with shortbread.

Like their chilli shortbread predecessors, any of these would look good pierced and hung with ribbon from the Christmas tree. They’d also make lovely Christmas gifts.

Coffee White Chocolate Shortbread
Matcha White Chocolate Shortbread
 
Lemon Shortbread
Lemon and Cardamom White Chocolate Shortbread

This is how I made:

White Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits

  • Softened 50g of good quality white chocolate by putting it in the mixing bowl and placing it on the storage heater for ten minutes.
  • Added 170g of unsalted butter cubed and left to soften.
  • Creamed the butter and chocolate with 85g golden caster sugar until pale in colour and fluffy in texture (used cardamom sugar for the lemon cardamom biscuits).
  • Added 175g plain flour (half wholemeal, half white), 80g brown rice flour and a pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt.
  • Depending on the flavour, added 1) 2 heaped tsp of matcha powder 2) 2 heaped tsp ground coffee 3) grated zest of an organic lemon together with the ground up seeds of 3 cardamom pods.
  • Stirred until incorporated, then formed into a ball and left in my cold kitchen to firm up for half an hour.
  • Rolled out to about 3mm thickness and stamped out small shapes getting 50 to 60 biscuits in total (hearts for the matcha shortbread, flowers for the coffee and snowflakes for lemon cardamom).
  • Left to firm up in my cold kitchen for 15 minutes.
  • Baked for 7-8 mins at 180°C until just golden.
  • Dusted with fine caster sugar whilst still hot, then transferred to a wire rack to cool and harden.

Jo at Comfort Bites has started a new challenge with the same name as her blog Comfort Bites. This month her theme is Christmas and as these would make great Christmas gifts, I am entering them.

Well as far as biscuits go, these are fairly Quick and Easy which is the theme for this month’s The Biscuit Barrel with Laura of I’d Much Rather Bake Than … The stamping can be fiddly if you use a small snowflake cutter as I did for the lemon cardamom cookies, but a larger and simpler stamp would not take very long at all.

As my wholemeal flour is bought locally from Cotehele Mill where it is ground with a traditional water powered stone, I am entering these into Shop Local at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

And as everything is made from scratch some of these are being sent of to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.

Chilli Shortbread Biscuits for Christmas – Perfect for Hanging on the Tree

Christmas Chilli Shortbread Biscuits

Biscuits, Gifts, We Should Cocoa | 22nd November 2013 | By

A number of factors combined recently leading to the creation of these hot! hot! hot! chilli shortbread biscuits. I can only describe these as a chilli lovers delight. Hang them on the tree or pack them up into a pretty box, tin or bag as a gift for those that like a bit of spice in their life.. Either way, they’re bound to make a Christmas talking point. 

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Matcha Cocoa Nibbed Shortbread and a Giveaway #20

Biscuits, Giveaways | 8th January 2013 | By

Since CT first bought some matcha back from Japan a few years ago, I have been in love with the stuff. Matcha is a Japanese green tea, very finely ground and stirred into hot water to make a beautiful bright green beverage. It also works wonderfully well in baking, where it not only gives a lovely colour, but acts as a good foil for all that sweetness. Here are some of the ways I’ve already used it:

When I was sent a packet of ceremonial matcha to try recently from Matcha Factory, I got very excited. It’s been a while since I had any to drink and even longer since I did any baking with it. Tea is a serious business in Japan and ceremonial matcha is the finest grade available, made from the youngest and sweetest leaves. It is thus the most expensive; this 50g packet costs £18.95. If you are interested in using matcha for baking purposes only, then a coarser and cheaper version would be fine.

The tea gave me the opportunity to try out the two new glasses I recently picked up for 40p in one of our local charity shops. The tea itself has a unique and distinctive flavour which I took to very readily.

Matcha is a bit of a wonder and guess what? It has achieved “superfood” status. It is reported to have 137 times the antioxidants of normal green tea and is said to increase the metabolism, boost the immune system, improve concentration and help the body fight cancer.

Given these wondrous properties, the shortbread biscuits I made with it, are ideal fare for  the leaner, meaner, healthier month of January. Yes there is some sugar in them, but for biscuits, it’s a relatively small amount and it’s balanced by all the matcha health benefits. I’ve used half wholemeal spelt in the mix and wholewheat semolina rather than white. Cocoa nibs are packed full of another set of health giving properties and the matcha element has already been covered.

This is how I made matcha cocoa nibbed shortbread

  • Creamed 75g vanilla sugar (caster) with 150g salted butter until light and fluffy.
  • Added 1 tbsp matcha and creamed some more.
  • Sifted in 100g wholemeal spelt flour, 100g white flour and 50g wholewheat semolina.
  • Stirred to combine until a sandy mixture was achieved.
  • Halved the mixture and pressed into two 6″ (15 cm) tin foil flan cases.
  • Pricked all over with a fork.
  • Baked at 150C for 25 minutes.
  • Dusted one with vanilla (caster) sugar and cut into triangles and turned the other one out onto a board before dusting with sugar.

Oh my, this shortbread was good. It was lovely and soft and melted in the mouth with added textural interest being added by the chewy cocoa nibs. The flavour was perfect for me, not too strong but well defined and of course, I adore the colour. If you prefer something a little sweeter, you could substitute the cocoa nibs for the chocolate of your choice chopped into bits or even leave out the chocolate element all together.

Giveaway – not only have I been offered a 50g packet of ceremonial matcha to giveaway to one lucky reader, but it comes with a whisk (chasen) and scoop so you can create your own authentic cup of Japanese tea. This is worth over £40. 
To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. Please give me some way of identifying you in the comment section as I will be verifying the validity of entries and will always check back to the comments to ensure that part has been done. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by Matcha Factory and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.

If you need some help to enter using Rafflecopter, here’s a quick clip to show you how.

Closing date is Wednesday 5 February 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Chocolate Shortbread Hearts

 

Back along, in return for a product placement, I received a voucher from CSN to spend at their online store. It wasn’t for a particularly large amount, but I decided to treat myself to a couple of things that I would never normally buy. This set of cutters were one of the items I bought. Other than a standard set of three round cutters in varying sizes and a gingerbread man, I don’t have any fun ones suitable for biscuits. It was the teapot in the set that won me over.

The cutters are sturdy and well made, which is just as well as they retail at nearly £11. The shapes and colours are fun, suggesting a tea party, with cake slice, cupcake (that’s the round one apparently) and teapot. The resulting biscuits are quite large though, so not for the faint hearted. I rather feel that my decorating skills might be put to the test at some point.

I was making some chocolate shortbread to line a couple of tart cases so thought I’d make some extra dough in order to try out one of my new cutters. However, I was feeling in a loving mood the day I made it, so it was the hearts I used rather than the teapot. The recipe for these will follow along with the tarts, but suffice it to say, the hearts were tasty and kept well.

Cocoa Nibs and Pistachio Shortbread

Biscuits, Gifts | 17th January 2011 | By

This recipe from Suelle was another one I knew I was going to make as soon as I saw it on Mainly Baking. These biscuits looked so attractive with the lovely green pistachios and brown nibs, I thought they would make good Christmas gifts.

This is what I did:

  • Creamed 110g unsalted butter with 50g caster sugar until light and fluffy
  • Sifted in 125g unbleached white flour (unusual for me, but I wanted them to look pale and interesting – didn’t quite work), 50g semolina and a pinch of rock salt.
  • Mixed roughly together, then added 25g pistachios – roughly chopped and 20g cocoa nibs.
  • Kneaded this very briefly until all incorporated.
  • Rolled out to about 3mm and cut into 14 rounds – not very easy as mixture was fragile and kept breaking.
  • Baked at 150C for 25 minutes.

Well, mine didn’t look nearly as good as Suelle’s but I’m so glad I made them as these shortbreads were delicious and went down particularly well with the recipients. They were very short, crisp and crumbly and oh so yummy.  I wish I’d made a whole batch just for us. Thank you Suelle for a truly wonderful recipe.

Chocolate and Cardamom Shortbread

Biscuits | 6th July 2010 | By

The wonderful weather we have been experiencing over the past few weeks (thirsty plants notwithstanding) has meant we’ve actually enjoyed a few meals outside this year. Eating food outside always seems to taste so much better somehow, I don’t know whether it’s all in the mind or if our senses are energised by the fresh air and sunshine. Outdoor meals for us have mostly been with friends as our garden is a little on the small side and not really suitable for outdoor eating. I keep thinking I must plan a tea party down at our plot, but the best I have managed so far was to have a take away supper down there. Our latest meal was a BBQ eaten out in a garden surrounded by flowers, fields and views. I had just read about Strawberry and Clotted Cream Shortcakes at Clotted Cream Diaries, which I really liked the sound of. This reminded me of the delicious Chocolate and Cinnamon Shortbread that I made back in May last year. Marrying these two things together, I took along chocolate cardamom shortbread, strawberries in a little cardamom, rose and mint syrup and clotted cream for pudding. I based this recipe on the cinnamon one, substituting the semolina for polenta and the cinnamon for cardamom.
 
 

This is how I made the shortbread:
  • Creamed 175g unsalted butter with 75g caster sugar
  • Sifted in 20g cocoa, 60g polenta, 170g plain flour, a pinch of salt and the ground seeds from 6 cardamom pods.
  • Formed this into a ball with my hands and rolled out to about 1/2 cm thick then cut into rounds.
  • I wasn’t expecting this mixture to spread so placed the rounds quite closely together on a lined baking sheet. They spread, so I didn’t get perfect rounds!
  • Baked at 180C for 8 mins.
  • Left to cool slightly then transferred onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dusted lightly with caster sugar
Although the recipe was virtually the same as the cinnamon squares I had previously made, these were completely different, but equally delicious. Last year’s version was deep and soft in the centre, these ones were like biscuits and had a lovely crunchy texture. The cardamom gave a really intriguing exotic twist which went well with the strawberries. The clotted cream made it into a virtually unbeatable outdoor desert!