Tuesday 8 December 2009

Christmas baking

Sewing, what sewing?

The Christmas party / group get togethers have started and so has the Christmas baking. We've been really lucky as it's not to hot to have the oven on yet, in fact it's raining - for which my garden is super grateful!

I feel very strongly about not commercialising Christmas as much as is possible - baking, gratitude and family time are the focus. The supermarket is avoided at all costs! (unbelievably the queues are already insane).

It's still to early for the really special baking that I like to do from the 20th onwards (and that's usually weather dependant over here) but the biscuits have started rolling out. Luckily my DD's enjoy making them so I get to 'supervise' without getting flour all over me. What can be easier than Classic Shortbread? So easy to make, bake beautifully - the perfect Christmas baking warm up.

Here's the recipe my DD's are using, they make a double batch of the Classic Shortbread , separate it into batches and then make each batch different with added extracts, nuts, zest, etc

Classic Shortbread
2 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (225 grams)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon true vanilla extract

Cream butter with sugar until smooth, add vanilla and mix well.
Stir in flour and salt.
(for batches, break up mixture now and add extracts, nuts, etc)
Wrap each batch in cling wrap. Chill for 45 minutes.
Ensure work surface and rolling pin is well dusted with flour.
Roll out dough to 1cm thickness
& bake at 180c for 10-15 minutes or until lightly crisp and golden.


  1. Esther, that shortbread recipe looks divine and I will probably try it. But I have to tell you those look more like Chanukah cookies than Xmas cookies - LOL.

  2. I'm with you on the baking. We packaged up yo yos, choc chip cookies and M&M cookies yesterday. Even on a good day I hate the supermarket.

  3. Your cookies look delicious. Thanks for the recipe-I have always loved shortbread but never made it-I will now!

  4. Hello Esther,
    I love baking cookies for my quilting friends, and when we are together it's always a special momento to share. Xmas is on it's way, and the next days I'll be baking for my family some "panettone", a typical italian cake with raisins and candied inside.
    A very merry Xmas
    Sara in Italy

  5. Sara,

    Please share your Panettone recipe with us!

    I usually purchase mine from an Italian baker here in Melbourne, but I've always wanted a 'real' panettone recipe... recipes are best when you know they are being baked by real people... I don't always trust cook books - especially in the traditional recipe area

  6. My husband approves of your cookies. This was my first time making shortbread cookies and he was most pleased as they are his favorite. Thank you for giving a simple recipe.

  7. Thank you for the recipe. I just got up and cut my butter to get ready for this one:) My favourite is shortbread but I rarely make it. I like my old cookbooks, but then finding some of the ingredients is tricky.

  8. Those look yummy. Please send some my way. Merry Christmas.


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