Adventures in shortbread and lemonade

On Saturday the sun shone, Tom cleared the vege garden (formerly the waist high weed patch) and I dried most of the washing outside. I also felt alive for the first time in about a week and took pleasure in making shortbread and lemonade.

I decided at the start of the year that one of my goals would be to make shortbread. Armed with three ingredients and Tom’s Mum’s recipe I did that on Saturday (and added some lemon zest because I’m fancy).

It was super easy to make although I definitely need to explore a better method – my shortbread kind of all fused together in the oven and I think it’s because I melted rather than softened the butter. I also need to be more aggressive with the fork marks and should probably cut it thicker and not put it in the fridge first. And I need to cook it longer. All things that mean I’ll just have to make it again some time soon so I can improve.

I also finally made Dee’s lemonade syrup. I did two versions – a sugarfree one and a sugar one with half the sugar (which still turns out sweet and syrupy). I was a lot less fussy about peeling the lemons and once I’d squeezed them I just chucked them all in the bowl* – I had to sieve it later so figured why bother doing things neatly?

I’ve been really enjoying the syrup with boiling water. If you’ve got lots of lemons or fancy a recipe with less sugar and more kapow then use Helen’s lemon cordial.

*Our lemons come from our own trees so I know they’re not sprayed. If yours are from the supermarket you should probably wash the skins first.

6 Responses to Adventures in shortbread and lemonade

  1. katy says:

    I am a fan of Annabel Langbein’s shortbread recipe, it is incredibly easy and always well-received:

    Beat together 250g butter and 125g icing sugar until fluffy. I soften the butter and beat it and the sugar with electric beaters. Add 250g flour and 50g custard powder (adds a lovely vanilla flavour to the finished product), I stir these in with a wooden spoon. The recipe says to press the dough into a slab though I make a triangle shape because that’s how my grandmother used to do it. I wrap this in glad wrap, put it on a tray and chill for about 30 mins then cut slices off, prick with a fork and bake for 30 mins at 150 celsius on a greased or lined tray. (The recipe says to roll out the dough and cut out shapes but I am old school and just do the slice). Makes about two trays of bikkies, enough to fill our biscuit tin.

    I am going to try making this tomorrow with chocolate chips as a special request for a friend, my expectation is that it will result in quite a full-on biscuit but I am happy to experiment.

    Annabel Langbein also offers a festive variation where you add 50g of polenta, 1tsp of crushed cardamom seeds and the grated rind of one lemon.

    Happy shortbreading all!

  2. Ellen says:

    I miss being in your circumstances. Especially when I read of them on your beautiful blog. The first time my nonna and pop came to visit me in featherston was a big deal, my nonna taught me shortbread and i wanted to recreate this and found an amazing recipe that included fresh lavendar! I hope you will enjoy the same, of course butter in himself is scrumptious but letting a flavour ride his tasty undercurrent is very exciting… there is a nice bush near the senior citizens club. Have you read about why short bread is called that ? it is worth a look. AMEN.

  3. Kathy says:

    I’ve been really enjoying your blog, can’t remember who sent me here when I moved to the Wairarapa… Anyhow – how did the sugar free one come out?

    • tomandemma says:

      Thanks Kathy. Sugar free wasn’t as nice and syrupy because it didn’t have all that sugar and when I quizzed Tom he said it just tasted like lemon and sweetener – I tend to agree. The sugar version was delicious – especially with boiling water.

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