Saturday, 21 December 2013

White Chocolate and Cranberry Shortbread

Well, long time no see.  It has been a rather hectic few weeks since I last made an entry, all the way back in early November.  That's rather terrible but between teaching and paperwork there has been no time for anything else other than some dinner and not enough sleep.  Good news is, at the end of it all, I passed!  I am officially halfway through my course!  And now I'm on holiday for a few weeks (though there is a 4000 word essay to do...) and have plenty of baking planned since lack of funds means a lot of people are getting home baked presents.  Admittedly, a number of those will be some of my favourites featured in previous posts but I am determined to try something new whilst I have the chance.

In fact, that is what today's post is!  These were part of the gift bag I put together as a 'thank you' for the teacher whose class I have been working in the past 9 weeks.  Now I know I used cranberries and white chocolate together only a couple of posts ago but she likes that combination, and is a big shortbread fan so I knew that if I was going to bake her something it would have to contain all those elements.  Finding a recipe was pretty easy and the one I ended up using was pretty hassle free.  My only complaints would be that the dough was VERY sticky and that I had to cook them slightly longer than recommended.  Other than that though, I think they turned out rather well and were certainly less hassle than the last cookies I made.  It's definitely a recipe I'll be squirrelling away for future gift purposes.  

As my resident taste tester, the fiancĂ© says the biscuits are beautifully sweet and crunchy like he thinks shortbread should be, and that the cranberries and white chocolate compliment each other beautifully.  Hopefully my mentor teacher enjoys them as much.

Recipe - adapted from
Makes about 36

  • 250g/8oz butter
  • 125g/4.5oz icing sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g/10.5oz plain flour
  • 75g/2.5oz dried cranberries
  • 100g/3.5oz white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and line 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until it is very pale and creamy.
  3. Stir in the flour, cranberries and chocolate chips and bring together to form a dough.  It will be quite sticky.
  4. Roll tablespoon sized portions of dough into balls and place them on the prepared trays, spaced about 5cm/2inches apart.  Flatten slightly with a fork (you may wish to dip the fork in flour to prevent it sticking to the biscuits).
  5. Chill the biscuits in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  6. Bake for 15-25 minutes (the original recipe said 15-18 but mine ended up needing 25) until the edges are just starting to turn golden and are slightly firm.  The middles will still feel soft.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to rest on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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