With a few days to go, hopefully most of you have done what you need to do and can sit back and relax a little before Christmas Day hits.
I’m a bit of a bad over-committer at this time of year and often find myself chasing my tail. My new approach has been to breathe deeply and visualise the end of the task. I’m pleased to report that this has actually worked. Stress has been reduced and I got to the end goals much more calmly. While I usually don’t do resolutions, next year’s may be to think before I open my mouth and agree to do to much.
I’m pretty much there – yes, there’s still the house to tidy. Reality is, it’ll always need tidying until we (a) sort the storage and (b) I stop buying ‘bargains’. So, no point stressing about it.
If you find yourself with time on your hands and you are looking for one more yummy treat from the kitchen, here is a lovely lemon shortbread recipe. It’s make doubly quick if you use a stand beater. And, if you double or triple the recipe, you will have loads of cookies for the neighbourhood.
What you’ll need
140g butter, at room temperature
80g (½ C) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence or paste
150g plain flour
50g ground almonds
Grated rind of a lemon
How to make them
Cover an oven tray with baking paper. Cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Mix in the lemon rind.
Sift together the flour and ground almonds. Mix into the butter mixture until a soft dough forms. If doing this in your beater, be careful not to over mix it.
Turn the dough on to a very lightly flour dusted surface and bring together into a ball.
Wrap the dough in cling film and pop into the fridge for 20-40 minutes. If you are doubling the recipe, wrap it in two balls so one remains in the fridge while you are rolling and cutting the other.
Remove the dough from the fridge and turn the oven to 160°C.
Put the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll until about 5mm thick.
Using Christmas cutters, cut out shapes and put on to the prepared tray, leaving a gap between each to allow for spreading. (Try to use the dough as efficiently as possible after the first roll as you want to re-roll the mixture as few times as possible.) With the scraps of dough, repeat the rolling and cutting process.
Cook in the heated oven for 15-20 minutes – time will depend on size and thickness of biscuits. If you are wanting to cook multiple trays, cook on fan bake at 140°C.
Remove from the oven when beginning to change colour slightly.
Cool on the tray for a few minutes, before moving to wire racks.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use. They, too, look cute packaged in cello bags.
Here’s a selection of treats from my recent posts. The shortbread, sugared almonds and white chocolate rocky road. If you have an hour or two spare, it’s fun and surprisingly relaxing to whip these up.
Righto, tidying to get done. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and engage during the year – I’ve loved getting your opinions and, most of all, hearing that some of you even give the recipes a go! Long may that continue.
Have a great Christmas,