Portion/Yield:Makes about 24 biscuits
This is one of Mr P’s experiments that turned out amazingly well. He experimented with making shortbread using both butter and olive oil, and the resulting taste is brilliant if you use a very good-quality extra virgin olive oil.
These biscuits are very short and fairly fragile. I do recommend to rest and chill the dough well, ideally overnight but a couple of hours or so should be sufficient if you are in a hurry.
Mr P added freeze-dried raspberry pieces and fresh thyme to the basic dough. The freeze-dried raspberry pieces are available from some supermarkets or delicatessens, or online.
Ingredients & Method
- 100g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- a pinch of table salt
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium egg yolks
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 250g plain flour
- 10g freeze-dried raspberry pieces
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Place the sugar, salt, butter and olive oil in a food processor (or use a Thermomix) and process for 30 seconds. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice, process for 30 seconds, then add the flour and process for 20 seconds. Add the lemon zest, raspberry pieces and chopped thyme and pulse a couple of times. The mixture will be soft, so spoon it on to a sheet of non-stick baking paper or a double layer of cling film and then roll it up like a sausage (about 2.5–3cm diameter), wrapping it in the paper or cling film as you go. Refrigerate until the dough has firmed up, at least 2 hours but overnight is best (see Cook’s Note).
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Unwrap the shortbread roll, then cut it into 1cm-thick slices and place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little space between each one as they do spread a bit during baking.
Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until pale golden. Remove from the oven and immediately heavily dust the shortbread rounds with caster sugar. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Keep the shortbread rounds in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 5 days. Serve them simply with a cup of tea as a snack, or serve with Cardamom Panna Cotta and fresh raspberries for dessert.
The wrapped unbaked shortbread dough will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If frozen, when required, simply defrost the dough in the fridge overnight, then slice and bake as directed above.