The smell of butter, chocolate and spices used to always fill our house in the lead up to Christmas. Since I can remember mum has always baked shortbread to give away as gifts and to add to her infamous Christmas platter. Piled high with baby fruit mince pies, gingerbread, macarons, nougat, florentines, and her delicious shortbread stars, mum’s Christmas platter is a family highlight and a sweet-treat for the senses.
Cooking and baking have always played a big part in the fun and excitement leading up to Christmas day, so with a little inspiration from my years of baking family recipes at home, I thought this year I’d create a few of my own shortbread recipes using some of my favourite flavours.
First up is one of my favourites… Vanilla & Rose.
Vanilla is a fairly standard addition to a shortbread recipe, but you may be questioning the addition of rosewater? Trust me, the rosewater adds a lovely subtle flavour, but not overpowering or ‘floral’ in taste at all. You won’t feel like you’re eating a bouquet of flowers from the garden, I promise. The result is a beautifully fragrant shortbread cookie with a wonderful vanilla and soft rose water flavour. They are delicious and probably my favourite of the three recipes in this Christmas shortbread series.
Do you have any family Christmas cooking traditions or a favourite shortbread recipe? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
- 1½ cups flour (I used TIPO 00 flour)
- ½ cup rice flour
- ½ cup raw castor sugar
- 225g salted butter
- 1 tbs vanilla bean powder or paste
- 1 tbs pure rose water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Dried rose buds for decoration
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Line two large baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour, rice flour, vanilla, salt and rose water to the creamed butter and sugar.
- Fold the ingredients together until just combined.
- If you are baking the shortbread straight away*, take the dough from the bowl and place onto a lightly floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it’s about 1cm thick, then cut the dough into 6cm rounds using a cookie cutter.
- Place the shortbread rounds onto the pre-lined baking trays.
- Place into the oven and bake at 180 celsius for 10mins until pale golden.
- Remove the trays from the oven and leave the shortbreads to sit for about 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.
- Sprinkle with dried rose petals. Enjoy!
* If you like, you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days until you are ready to bake. Remember to allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling and baking.