Flour, sugar, butter and salt are ingredients that, in my opinion, produce the worlds tastiest biscuit. Shortbread. Simple and perfect. So why mess with the charming simplicity of this Scottish marvel by adding white chocolate, orange zest and cranberries? Well, because simplicity goes hand in hand with versatility, which is why shortbread is so special. Mixed fruits and herbs, such as dried Apricots, Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme are great additions to shortbread, as is Parmesan cheese.
There are dozens of combinations that take shortbread to a whole new level and this is one of them.
The idea came after making a variety of chocolate truffles that included a white chocolate, cranberry and shortbread combination. I quickly realized that these festive flavours would be delicious in biscuit form.
This shortbread would make a lovely addition to your Christmas dessert table. It would also be delightful on Christmas Eve with an ice cold glass of milk. Something I'm sure, a white bearded man in a big red suit could attest to!
For us, Christmas this year will be a large affair. We have friends and family coming from all over. We will also be doing some traveling here and there. So, if I don't see you again before the holiday, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Makes about 30 biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2/3 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar) sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
No need to cream the butter and sugar and all that other faff. Just put the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and orange zest into a large mixing bowl and stir until well combined. I find it easier to use my hands. Be sure not to overwork the dough. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Divide the dough in half and shape into two logs, each about 1 1/2-inch-diameter. Wrap in cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours. You can also chill the dough in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F. Slice the logs into 1/4 inch slices. You may have to pat each slice a little to secure any loose bits of chocolate. Place biscuit slices 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Note: I found that the shortbread was ever so slightly over baked at 15 minutes, but this happens to be the way I like it. Just something to keep in mind.