Vanilla Shortbread

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Yes friends, its that time of year again, it’s officially cheap arse edible gift time, hooray! So why not spare some pennies and give the less important friends in your life, a disappointing edible gift for Christmas.
The beauty of the edible gift is that the receiver has to be grateful for your efforts, no matter how minimal or shit your gift is, it’s brilliant. They’ll obviously know you’re being cheap but hey, they’re not your important friends so who cares right? Frankly, they should be lucky to be getting a present at all.
Although be warned, if this is your second year of edible gifting, be prepared to receive some revengeful edible gifts in return for last years efforts (I can certainly sense a jar of disappointing onion chutney winging its way to me in the post.)
Anyway, this years edible gift is vanilla shortbread. It’s literally made from three ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, sugar, flour and butter. I actually add a touch of salt and vanilla to mine to give it a bit of pizzazz but that’s it. Not only is it irresistibly short and crumbly but it’s melt in the mouth delicious, so you never know, perhaps you’ll be forgiven for being cheap for one more year.
But hey, if shortbread isn’t your bag, then why not try last years edible gift Salted Saltana & Rum Fudge.

Vanilla Shortbread 
Makes 1 round / Takes 40 minutes + cooling time
Ingredients:
125g Unsalted butter at room temperature (plus extra for greasing)
50g Caster sugar (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
175g Plain flour
You’ll need: Baking paper, and a 10 inch loose based flan tin (that’s what I used, pretty sure you can make this in any tin you have though but I would recommend a loose bottomed one for ease).

Method: 
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
2. Line a 10 inch loose based flan tin with baking paper. (I do this by removing the bottom of the tin and sticking a piece of baking paper to it using butter. I then cut around it with scissors, leaving me with a perfectly lined bottom (lol). Then I dab a bit of balled cling film in soft butter and grease the sides of the flan tin. Assemble together and put to one side.)
3. In a big bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. You can do this by hand with a wooden spoon or use a mixer. Once smooth and creamy add all of the flour.
4. Mix together until your mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour into the centre of your tin and spread out evenly. Press down with your hands until you have a firm biscuit like dough (don’t forget to press down between the ridges of the tin.)

5. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden.
6. Leave to cool fully in the tin before evenly sprinkling with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. Carefully remove the shortbread from the tin and cut into pieces. The mixture will be very short and crumbly so don’t worry too much if some bits break off, it’s part of the charm. Enjoy with a cup of tea (obviously).

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If you’ve had a go at making my shortbread or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com
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