A classic shortbread biscuit is buttery and tender with a crumbly, melt in the mouth texture. It shouldn’t be soft or chewy like a cookie, but delicately crisp. The simplicity of the ingredients is what makes shortbread so good. The perfect sugar:butter:flour ratio is 1:2:3 and so you can easily work the recipe up or down to make a batch however large you like. The best way to get the right texture is to weigh the ingredients out carefully and not to overwork the dough. Here’s a handy little video which explains it all.
Let us know in the comments or over on our facebook group if you make the recipe. I’d love to see your photos. Liz x
300g plain flour (I love this spelt one for perfect biscuits and cakes)
optional extras – lemon zest, more caster sugar to roll the cookies in…
Measure the sugar, butter and flour into a bowl. Add optional lemon zest – I used the gorgeous bergamot lemons we have in season now.
Using the tips of your fingers (so as not to make the dough too warm or melty) rub the flour and sugar into the butter.
When you reach a sort of wet-beach-sand-like texture, tip the mixture carefully onto a clean work surface.
Bring the dough together into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough as this can make it tough and chewy rather than tender and crisp. No kneading, just gently bring it together.
Then you need to wrap and chill the dough for at least half an hour. I like to roll the ball into a neat cylinder, the circular ends the size of the biscuits I want. Then wrap it in a sheet of baking parchment on which I’ll cook the biscuits later. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up the dough.
Then pre-heat the oven to 175C.
Unwrap the chilled shortbread dough onto a large baking sheet. If you wish, you can roll the cylinder of dough in some extra caster sugar (with added lemon zest or chopped rosemary, or crushed lavender flowers…) to create a sweet, crunchy ring around the biscuits.
Slice the dough into 12 round biscuits and bake them for 8 minutes or until just starting to take on some colour.
Allow the biscuits to completely cool and then store them in an airtight container. Eat within a week. I am loving them with a dollop of my kumquat curd but they are delicious plain too. And just perfect with a cup of Earl Grey tea.
These little chia and oat pots are perfect for breakfast (and they make a fabulous healthy pudding too)! You can prepare the two layers in separate bowls the night before, then just put it together in the morning with some crunchy granola, juicy fruit and silky curd (find the recipe for my favourite kumquat curd here). If you don’t have curd you could use a dollop of yogurt instead.
Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. Packed full of fibre, antioxidants, minerals and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Oats are brilliant too of course! This humble grain is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and can lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar control and contains a powerful soluble fibre which is great for your digestive system!
I love this combination of berry chia, turmeric oats, zingy sweet citrus and toasty granola. But of course you can tweak the recipe to use your favourite fruit or flavours. How about rhubarb compote in the chia layer and making the creamy oat layer taste like custard with some vanilla? Then top with yogurt, granola and more rhubarb? Or do you like tropical flavours? How about a passionfruit chia layer, coconut milk in the oats and top with mango slices and toasted coconut flakes? Are you a chocoholic? Raspberries in the chia layer, cacao powder in with the oats then top with pieces of dark chocolate, fresh raspberries and toasted hazelnuts? The possibilities are endless.
Let us know your favourite chia and oat pot flavour combos in the comments. Liz x
*as always, bold words are clickable and will take you to the product or recipe on our website so that you can easily add ingredients to your order or find the recipe I refer to
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, leave to stand for a few minutes and mix again. Then cover and refrigerate (or use right away if you are making this in the morning).
Mix the next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl, cover and refrigerate over night to allow it to thicken (or you can serve it after a quick 10 minute soak if you are making this in the morning).
Serve in a couple of simple glasses. Divide the chia and berry mixture between two glasses, then add the turmeric porridge mixture. Top with a tbsp of kumquat curd, peeled slices of blood orange and a couple of tbsp of granola.
Well here’s a tongue twister if ever I did see one. Kumquat Curd. Try say that ten times in a row without messing up! Have you ever eaten a kumquat? They have very sweet skins and very sour middles. I love using them for curd rather than lemons because all you need to do is remove the seeds, the rest of the fruit can be blended up and simmered into this perfect preserve. No need for zesting and juicing.
This stunning little curd is delightfully sweet and tangy and so simple to make. The perfect use for this tiny citrus. I love curd on toast as an alternative to jam but it also makes the best filling for a cake or topping for a tart. Curd is great sandwiched between shortbread biscuits or rolled up in pancakes. I think a sunny jar of kumquat curd makes the perfect Mother’s Day gift, especially if accompanied by a stack of pancakes in bed and a vase of daffodils!