Cherry and Almond Shortbreads

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Introduction: Cherry and Almond Shortbreads

I saw some Cherry Bakewell shortbreads in our local supermarket which I liked, though they were only available during summer. During winter, leading up to Christmas we get bigger packets of plain shortbread, though it gets a bit boring after a while. That lead me to see if I could recreate those flavours of the summer months, which I have done here. Why not give it a try yourself!

Supplies

To make 10.
50g (1.76oz) icing/confectioners sugar
100g (3.52oz) plain white flour
25g (0.88oz) cornflour
125g (4.40oz) chilled butter, cut into small cubes
70g (2.46oz) whole almonds or ground almonds
120g (4.23) glacé cherries

Step 1: Chop the Almonds and Glacé Cherries

Note: I used blanched almonds for this recipe, though you could substitute with the same weight in ground almonds, I think they add an extra bit of a crunch to the final product.

Start by roughly chopping the almonds. As you can see I chopped them quite small, so you get some in each bite.

Cut each cherry into 3 or 4 pieces. I kept them bigger so that they’d still be visible. Set the almonds and cherries to one side.

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

Tip the icing sugar, flour and cornflour into a mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and using your fingertips, start to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture, until the lumps get smaller and resemble soft breadcrumbs. Alternatively you could pulse the mixture in a food processor for 10-20 seconds.

Step 3: Add the Almonds and Cherries

Add the chopped almonds and cherries to the flour mixture with a couple of tablespoons of water and mix to bring the dough together. If the dough starts to feel too sticky, rub a little flour between your hands. Form the dough into a ball and chill for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Roll the Dough

Take the chilled dough and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Roll the dough out to about 1cm thick. If the rolling pin starts to stick, rub some flour along all around it and that will stop it sticking to the dough. It helps to roll in one direction, then rotate the tray 90 degrees and roll again. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you could gently pat the dough to size with your fingers.

Step 5: Cut the Dough to Shape

Heat oven to 180c/fan 160c (356f/320f) Now the dough is an even thickness, use a cutter of your choice. Here, I am using a 6cm round cutter. Press the cutter down with firm and even pressure to cut each round out. Rub a little flour around the cutter to stop sticking. After you cut the first few out, bring the rest of the dough together and flatten it again until it’s all used up. Those look pretty good to me! Try to leave enough space around each shortbread on the tray and chill for about 15 minutes.

Step 6: Ready to Bake

Make sure your tray is big enough to space the shortbread out, in case they spread while baking. Place the tray on a shelf in the middle of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. It would be okay to check them after 10 minutes, to make sure they don’t colour too much. When you think they’re finished, they should still be a bit pale in colour and should feel firm when you give them a gentle press. Leave the shortbreads on the tray to cool, they will harden as they cool down.

To finish, simply give each one a sprinkle of sugar.

Step 7: Conclusion

Shortbread is one of my favourites, and these ones are no exception. I did have some thoughts though. Perhaps if I added some almond extract, that would bring out the flavour a bit more, but then maybe that would be a bit overpowering. That’s a matter of personal taste.
Also, using the icing sugar in the dough mixture makes the result a bit softer that what you’d probably expect, so you could go down the creaming butter and caster sugar route, if you prefer extra crunch - again, personal preference.

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    Comments

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    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    5 weeks ago

    Yum! These sound great :)