Sunday, 17 February 2013

Melt-in-the-mouth Viennese Shortbread Biscuits

Many things in baking can be described as 'melt-in-the-mouth', and it can be an overused term.  But...when used to describe these biscuits, it is the most apt description. Seriously!

They have few ingredients, take little time in the oven to bake, and are simple to make, yet they taste divine.  Eaten within an hour of baking, they are so light in texture, and can easily accompany a syllabub or creme brulee dessert.  They are just as at home with a nice cup of tea, and should be fine in an airtight container for up to 3 days, but perhaps no longer, the fresher the better with these little beauties!  I may sound a little vague on the 'best before' information, and that is because whenever I make them they are eaten the same day!

You will need:

  • 4 oz plain flour
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 oz icing sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla extract (not essence)

1.  Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  I use a hand mixer for this part, and if the butter is sufficiently soft (not melted) it will combine easily
2.  Add vanilla extract and gradually mix in the flour
3.  Put dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle (the bigger the better so the ridges will hold when baked
4.  Pipe lines of about 2 inches in length onto a baking sheet (lightly greased with butter)
5.  Bake on 180 C (Fan) for 12-15 mins, but check after 12 mins to make sure they are not too dark (the lighter golden the better they will be) 
6.  Leave to cool on baking sheet before removing, and store in an airtight container

For a special occasion you can dip half of each biscuit into melted chocolate!

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