Worldly Wednesday – Shortbread Stars
I was lucky to get a visit from Miss Mixotrophy and her gorgeous little baby on Monday. She also brought some pretty darn delicious shortbread stars with her for us to munch on whilst we baby-gazed (super Mamma!) and I’ve convinced her to share with us. She (of course) has shared her Thermomix version (you can find it over at the Thermomix Recipe Community here), but if you don’t have a thermie, I think the ultra-cute Shortbread Trees over at Taste look adorable and would make lovely last-minute Christmas gifts, and a fun project to do with the kids… You can also check out our Citrus Sweetheart Biscuits from earlier this year – these would be easy to decorate with a Christmas theme in mind.
- 50 g raw sugar for sprinkling
- 110 g raw sugar
- 250 g butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 300 g plain flour
- extra flour
- Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Place 50g sugar in TM bowl and turn into caster sugar (4-5 seconds/speed 10). Set aside for sprinkling later.
- Place 110g sugar in TM bowl and turn into caster sugar (4-5 seconds/speed 10). Add butter and vanilla (roughly cube with a butter knife as you put it into the bowl) and beat on 10-20 seconds/speed 4 or until pale and creamy. Use spatula to scrape down as necessary. Don’t overbeat – the mixture should look like a smooth paste rather than be light and fluffy like you would want it for making a cake.
- Add flour. Set lid to lid locked and, using spatula through the hole in the lid to assist, knead 10-20 seconds or until just combined.
- Tip mixture out onto Thermomat (or clean dry surface) and knead lightly by hand until smooth. The dough will be very soft but shouldn’t be sticky – knead in a little extra flour if required.
- Roll out dough to about 1cm thickness. To prevent dough from sticking to rolling pin, rub rolling pin with flour every so often. Use a star shaped cutter to cut out biscuits (5cm from point to point is a good size). Place stars on lined trays using a palette knife or thin metal spatula or similar to assist. Re-roll leftover dough and repeat.
- Sprinkle biscuits with caster sugar and place in fridge from 30 minutes to chill. Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Transfer shortbread from fridge to preheated oven. Bake 10-15 mins or until just browned. Depending on your oven, you might need to turn trays half way through so that the shortbread cooks evenly. Stand for 5 mins then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Package up all nice and pretty for gifts for friends and family!
Variation – Shortbread Squares
- To save time, you can press dough into a lined 18x28cm tin and smooth with the back of a spoon instead of cutting out stars. Use a sharp knife to mark the dough into 4cm squares. Prick the surface with a fork and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in preheated oven at 150°C for 55 minutes or until light golden and cooked through. Cool in pan. Transfer the shortbread to a cutting board and cut into squares as marked. Makes 28.
- If you have star cutters of different sizes, you can make a shortbread star Christmas tree which makes a lovely table centre piece. Bake and stack from largest to smallest, offsetting the tips of the stars. You can stick them together with a little bit of icing in between each star and put an almond or something pretty at the top. Watch the cooking time if baking different sized stars at the same time – the smaller ones will cook quicker.
Original recipe from ‘Baking’ by Anneka Manning. Adapted for Thermomix by Erica Noble, Independent Consultant.