I am a "savoury" person but every so often get a craving to make something sweet which is what happened this afternoon. The supermarkets here in England close at 4 so when I got this craving to bake at around 4.05pm I looked at what I had in the cupboards and decided that shortbread was the way to go. It's a really simple recipe using things that are usually in the cupboard but I decided to add a twist...
Use a wooden spoon to mix the butter and sugar together.
Add the flour and cinnamon little by little. If you are mixing by hand you will find that that it gets difficult to mix once you've added almost all of the flour so roll up your sleeves and get your hands in there.
You'll know when everything's mixed enough because it will come together and stop sticking to the bowl. Add the vanilla extract half at a time making sure it's mixed in well.
Time to roll! If you are rolling the dough out on your work surface you probably won't need to dust it with flour as the butter in the mixture will stop it from sticking too much. If you are rolling on a wooden board, lightly dust with flour.
Roll out the dough until it's about the thickness of two pound coins - about 1/3 inch if you don't have English money to measure against! I personally like my shortbread a bit thinner than most - if you prefer it to be thicker just add a couple of minutes onto the baking time. Cut out whatever shapes you want then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper (I put my baking paper on top of foil so I didn't have to wash up...). I went for a few hearts and some standard fingers. I pressed the tines of a fork into the dough for a bit of decoration.
Ok, so there's a difference in colour...I made plain shortbread for Mr Jones but the heart shaped ones are the cinnamon ones!
Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Chill for 20 minutes and heat the oven up to 165C (fan oven).
The baking time will depend on the thickness. I set my timer for 13 minutes but put them back in for another couple of minutes. You want the shortbread to have a golden tinge. I'm always tempted to bake until I see the shortbread properly browning but by the time they cool they will be brittle and dry.
Gently lift the shortbread onto a wire rack and let the biscuits cool.
Once cooled, enjoy with a cup of tea or dunk in milk!
6 oz plain flour
4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
2 oz light brown sugar
3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
granulated sugar for dusting