Tuesday, 17 December 2013


I'm a strong believer in the idea that a home-made Christmas gift is wonderful, but it shouldn't cost the maker any more to make than it would to go to the shop and buy it - we are talking about a frugal lifestyle after all!
So this shortbread recipe is plain and simple and can be made with cheap ingredients, but still be a "luxury". My biggest tip is to use real butter- shortbread never tastes so good if it's made with margarine and a block of unsalted butter bought from a supermarket is often no more expensive than margarine! 
For example, I have found today Tesco Everyday Unsalted* block butter at 98p, Aldi Greenvale unsalted block butter 98p and Asda Smartprice also 98p. Plain flour and caster sugar are also widely available at budget prices, check out the prices on mysupermarket.co.uk.
*You may want to use salted butter as this adds about the right amount of "saltiness" to your shortbread.

Anyway, to get to the recipe!

Shortbread recipe
4ozs block butter
2ozs caster sugar
6ozs plain flour

Oven temperature 150C/Gas2
Beat the butter and sugar together until well mixed and smooth (this is easier if you take the butter out from the fridge for a couple of hours first).
Gently stir in the flour to form a dough and turn out on to a floured working surface to roll out to 1cm or half inch thick.
If you have any Christmas cutters (stars, hearts, trees etc) cut out the shapes, but rounds made with a tumbler or rectangles are fine if you don't have cutters.
Place on a baking tray, sprinkle lightly with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (watch them carefully as you don't want much colour - just a pale gold colour with no brown edges!).
Cool on a wire rack and pack in an airtight container for up to a week.
You can half dip your shortbread in melted chocolate if you have it, and wrap it (with labels stating ingredients) in cellophane squares or bags, if you have those - what a lovely gift!
Need crafty Christmas gift inspiration? Take a look at Free Christmas knitting patterns and Free Christmas crochet patterns!

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