Stem Ginger Shortbread

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One for you two for me. I made this recipe as a birthday offering for my Dad. Having probably still got some remains of the cake I baked 2 weeks ago, plus a cake from Tesco that he bought for my mum’s birthday, I decided to bake him something a bit different.

And I was hungry.

So I baked a batch of stem ginger shortbread for him. And two for me.

Ingredients

100g butter
50g caster sugar + a small bit for sprinkling on top
130g plain flour
20g cornflour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch salt
20g (approx. one ball) stem ginger

Method

Preheat oven to 160*C. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Weigh out the plain flour and corn flour in a separate bowl, add the ground ginger and salt. Finely chop the stem ginger into little pieces and add to the flour. Coat the ginger pieces in the flour before adding the whole lot to the butter-cream. Mix with your hands to combine the ingredients, trying not to handle it too much as shortbread does not like being warm. Form a solid dough before rolling out into a 5 cm diameter roll. Chill for at least 30 mins.

Now you have two options:

1. Do as I did and slice the roll into 0.5 cm slices with the sharpest knife you have. This can lead to smushed circles, but with a little reshaping will be relatively less handled and therefore happier shortbread.

2. Insist on circular perfection by rolling out the dough and cutting 5 cm discs with a cutter. Note the more you rework the leftovers from each batch, the more you will sacrifice on texture of your shortbread.

Up to you. Either way, plonk your biscuits on a greased baking sheet and pop in the oven for around 15-20 minutes. Take them out at the first hint of browning. Sprinkle over a little sugar and leave to cool on the baking tray to firm up a little. After at least 5 minutes, you can transfer to a cooling rack.

Unlike most baked goodies, I am not a huge fan of these warm (?!?!). I know this because I am greedy and tried one straight from the oven. I advise you to wait until they are cool. Serve with tea and friends.

W

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