Sunday, 2 November 2014

Cherry shortbread

I used to work in an office where we got particularly nice biscuits in meetings.  I’m not saying the biscuits made us book more meetings but……well, nope, I think that’s exactly what I’m saying!  The prize on the plate was always the cherry shortbread ring – it could make any meeting palatable (it’s no coincidence it was shaped like a life saver).  I’m sure this golden snitch of a biscuit ensured punctual starts to meetings more than any other reason; you could get to the meeting room 10 minutes early and would rarely be the first one there!

Happy memories of the cherry shortbread ring drifted into my head this week, probably because I was sitting in a meeting room sans biscuits (I know – the horror!).  I decided to pay homage to this glorious biscuit and also tackle what I call a ‘pressed’ shortbread, something that’s been on my to-bake list for a while.  This method is where you tip the dough crumbs into the tin and then  press it into shape, which is where the real binding together of the ingredients takes place.

This is an incredibly flavoursome biscuit given the small number of ingredients.  And who knew it would taste even better when eaten sitting on the sofa, rather than around a meeting table?  You learn something new every day!


280g plain flour
60g ground rice flour
230g unsalted butter, from the fridge
115g golden caster sugar, plus 2-3 tablespoons extra for dusting
85g glace cherries, chopped small – you could use chocolate chips or chopped stem ginger instead, if you so wished


Preheat the oven to 170°C/ fan oven 150°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

Line the base of two 20cm round springform tin with baking paper (loose bottomed sandwich tins would also be good).

Place the plain and rice flour into a bowl.

Rub the butter into the flour until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs (this can be done with your hands, or in a food mixer).

Stir in the sugar and chopped cherries.

Press the mixture into the prepared baking tin and use your hand to ensure the mix is evenly distributed.

Prick with a fork and cut into segments – this will help to cut into pieces post baking.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a very light golden colour.

Leave to firm in the tin for 30 minutes.

Use a sharp knife to rescore along the lines you cut pre-baking.

Dust (generously!) with caster sugar.

Leave to cool in the tin until it is firm enough to de-tin without breaking.

Snap along the score lines.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Biscuits can make or break a meeting- I'm so with you on that! I recently attended a course spread over four days, the first two at a hotel chain than rhymes with Bilton and begins with a H. The food was so tasty- we all looked forward to the breaks with such glee and excitement. The afternoon break involved having a miniature afternoon tea! The second part of the course involved prepackaged dry, tasteless biscuits, we were all rather disappointed! This looks delicious and I've not heard of pressed shortbread before (off to google...)

Katie said...

They look the perfect buttery short shortbread biscuit. Love the cherries in there too.
I love how the nice biscuits made you have more meetings, would certainly make them more enjoyable

Choclette said...

How spoilt were you cherry shortbread in meetings? Mind you, think I'd prefer it on the sofa too.

Hello said...

They look delicious and I agree biscuits are better on the sofa :-) x

Cakelaw said...

I have never had cherry shortbread but would definitely like to try some of this!

Gloria Baker said...

I love this cherry shortbread CC look delicious!

Jo said...

What beautiful shortbread. The cherries make it look (dare I say it...?) rather festive! I think the only shortbread I've ever baked was the "pressed in" kind. Low faff recipes always get a big thumbs up from me!

Gluten Free Alchemist said...

Yummmmm! Great shortbread. Looks perfect. We always used to book meeting and training venues based on our knowledge of what was served with coffee or for lunch...... always guaranteed a good turn-out. Sadly, in the wake of a recession, we aren't even allowed to book coffee..... Only water! That's public service for you.....

Snowy said...

They look good, and a great idea adding cherries.

Maggie said...

I always love the crunch from using ground rice flour in shortbread and cherries add to the yumminess!

Cakeyboi said...

I've used dried cranberries in shortie but never cherries. The flavours do sound lovely CC

The Happy Whisk said...

That is very interesting. I've never added cherries to my shortbread but by gosh, that looks wonderful.

Thanks for the idea.

Babsie said...

Dear Caked Crusader - these shortbread biscuits are to die for. I have made three (yes three!) batches since I found your post a week ago. I hope moving house went well, and that you and your family have a very Happy Christmas.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Babsie

I'm really glad you like the recipe. Three batches! You must be popular!
The move went really well thanks and we're looking forward to our first christmas in our new home.
Happy christmas to you!