Thursday, 18 December 2014

Macadamia And Ginger Shortbread

As much as I love a piece of Christmas cake or a mince pie at Christmas time, sometimes it's nice to have something a little bit lighter. Just a little morsel of something sweet and delcious. My mother in law makes great shortbread biscuits and rum balls every year, so I really can't compete with her on the biscuit stakes. The solution is to make flavoured shortbread, which is completely different, but oh so good.

This macadamia and glace ginger version I came across three or four years ago and have been making it ever since. It is delicious! A beautiful combination of buttery shortbread, nutty toasted macadamia nuts and sweet, but bitey glace ginger. Perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea or to give away as a homemade gift.

This shortbread is nice and short and can tend to be a bit crumbly. Make sure you don't overcook it, otherwise it can be really hard to cut into pieces without falling apart. Making it into one large 'biscuit' makes it very quick to make. If you have a mixer, it really only takes a few minutes to combine all the ingredients.

If you don't normally like glace ginger, I'd suggest that you try this recipe and see if it changes your mind. Being finely chopped it just adds a beautiful flavour without being overwhelming. If you really can't stand it, maybe use dried cranberries instead for a festive look.

Macadamia And Ginger Shortbread

100g macadamia nuts
250g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar plus extra to sprinkle
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cornflour
100g glace ginger, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 140 degrees.
Spread macadamia nuts on a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Coarsely chop nuts and set aside.

Use a mixer or hand beater to cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Add flour and gently mix to combine.
Stir through nuts and ginger.

Tip dough onto a large piece of baking paper on a baking tray and shape into a large rectangle, about 1cm thick.
Score dough into fingers and then prick with a fork and sprinkle with a little extra caster sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes or until pale golden.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on tray before cutting into fingers at markings.

Wrap in cellophane with red and green ribbons to give as a gift, or store in an airtight container for a week or so (if it lasts that long!)


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