Sometimes when I’m feeling a bit under the weather I turn to familiar things. I’ve been feeling a bit meh about running, (which is unlike me) we’ve had some stressful decisions to make at home and I haven’t been feeling 100% myself health wise. I’ve been craving mini cheddars (fond memories from childhood), snuggling in hoodies and relying on lots of friends and loved ones (more than I should) to help me through what is not a tough time, just not a normal bouncy, tigger like, happy-go-lucky Stephanie time.
Are you okay with this guys or is it all a bit TMI? I normally don’t waffle so much, I try to just give you the recipe, what do you prefer? Is this a bit of a downer perhaps? Sorry if it is, but anyway the upshot is the other familiar thing I go back to is baking, a half pot of lavender sugar in the cupboard has been nagging at me for some time. Shortbread is quick and easy and full of one of mine (and David’s) favourite things.. butter. So there was no other occasion or reason needed to get on with making this batch of shortbread. I did promise you some buttery delights a while back, so here they are.
Do you like my new plate? It was a bit of an impulse purchase, I’d left these beauties at home to cool and was mentally thinking through my photos, cross at my lack of props and constant use of the same plates and decided to treat myself. Especially as I was feeling a bet meh about that mornings run, a non edible pick me up was a good match to the edible pick me up it now holds. The only downside was they had 6 colours, oh the indecision of my brain fog. Luckily David came when I’d got it down to two and told me the grey was ugly – win. He meant it in the nicest possible way I know, it was really “I love you babe, but grey, really, it’s a bit on the ugly side”.
I can’t claim all inspiration for this recipe, especially this unique method of whisking ingredients, this shortbread recipe is adapted from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible . If you want to own just one baking book this should be it. It’s full of beautiful fail safe recipes. You’ve probably never heard of Annie Bell but next time you are looking through a compilation of recipes, cut out a cake recipe from a newspaper or find a great recipe online check out the author, Annie is everywhere. even Felicity Cloake turns to Annie for her infamous ‘How To Cook The Perfect‘ blog. This book was recommended to me by one of my favourite fellow bakers and someone I trust implicitly with anything oven related Sarah. Thanks Sarah. So let me pass on that knowledge – get this book! But don’t tell everyone.
I think you’ll like these Lavender and Raspberry Shortbreads they are
- Easy to make
But don’t turn your nose up at lavender as something your great Aunt Fanny would go for at a cake counter, flavour bursts of freeze dried raspberries cut through the floral nature of lavender and buttery-ness to give you something that will suit a whole lot more pallets, and Aunt Fanny will still like them.
NB: If you think I have made a mistake with 5g of freeze dried raspberries, let me explain! They are like dust, in a good way, the whole packet only weighs 10g – much to my surprise. They can be found in the baking aisle in Waitrose, where you’ll also found the lovely Star Kay lemon extract I used. Unfortunately Waitrose aren’t paying me, I just love their baking aisle – Waitrose if you are reading, feel free to pay me
I’ve included this slightly murky picture to show you how your mixture should look in the pan. This is mine after I spread it out before a gentle press down, it still looked higgldy piggldy when it went in the oven.
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 75g lavender sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 5g freeze dried raspberries
- 150g plain flour
- 75g rice flour
- Preheat the oven to 170'c and line a 27cm x 18cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- With an electric whisk and in a large bowl whisk together the butter, sugar and lemon extract until light a fluffy.
- Add the raspberries and flour, whisking until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Gently spread the breadcrumbby mixture out into your tin, pressing down into the corners and gently levelling - don't push it down too hard, just enough for it to look like one piece of buttery, floury joy.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is a beautiful golden colour
- As you remove it from the oven sprinkle over some more lavender sugar and allow to cool.
- Remove from the tin and cut into 16 chunks.