Easy orange shortbread

This is a very simple shortbread, flavoured with orange. The dough is made up in moments, left in the fridge to chill before being sliced thinly and baked.

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I like to serve this with tangy orange and raspberry brûlées (recipe to follow shortly), but to be honest they are sublime eaten just as they are with a cup of tea!

I have gone for a no-rolling out approach for this shortbread: you simply shape the dough into a log, chill it until firm and slice of thin discs that are immediately ready to bake. You might not get perfectly uniform circles of shortbread this way, but that hardly matters and they taste excellent.

You can even freeze the log of dough and slice off what you want as and when!

You can pep up the shortbread a little further if you like by adding about 2 teaspoons of ground ginger in with the flour mixture.

I sometimes make these gluten-free, simply using a good gluten-free flour. It is easier slicing the dough from near-frozen if using gluten-free flour, defrosting and then baking,

Recipe: orange shortbread – makes about 20

  • 40g caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 60g soft unsalted butter
  • 80g plain flour (or use gluten-free plain flour)
  • finely grated zest of half a large orange

(1) Put the butter, sugar and orange zest in a small bowl and beat for a few moments with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix to form a soft dough, using your hands to gently pat it together. Alternatively, you can pop all the ingredients into a food processer and pulse gently until it forms a dough, taking care not to over-pulse it (which makes the shortbread tough)

(2) Shape into a cylindrical log and wrap it in clingfilm until you are ready to slice and bake. I like to have a long, thin cylinder for smaller biscuits, but you can go for a thicker, more squat cylinder if you prefer larger biscuits.

(3) Preheat the oven to 150C (fan). Slice discs about 5mm thick and place a little apart on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or a silicon sheet.

(4) Bake for about 12 minutes: the edges will have turned a very light golden colour. Carefully remove from the trays and onto wire racks. Dust with a little caster sugar and leave to cooled.

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Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking & eating.

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