Christmas baking: vanilla shortbread

Tray of homemade shortbread  

I love cooking for my family and friends. Having people in our house and feeding them, nourishing them, gives me great joy. So it should come as no surprise that I love giving gifts of food too. Recently I’ve been giving out jars of our olives and small slabs of homemade quince paste but wanted to do something more Christmassy.

Shortbread with wooden knife to make star imprintI think homemade biscuits are a beautiful Christmas tradition and this year I decided to jettison my fear and attempt shortbread. 

Stack of homemade shortbread_edited-1    Stack of homemade shortbread side on

I don’t know why it scared me but it did – something about not overworking the dough. I always like a forgiving dough and shortbread seemed just a little too precious for my liking.

Trio of Christmas tree shortbreadsTurns out I had shortbread all wrong. It’s really not too tricky.

These turned out so well (although the next batch will leave the oven just 3 minutes earlier so they stay perfectly pale all over) and I decorated them very simply.

Trio of homemade shortbreadI popped some greaseproof paper inside paper bags  – to stop grease stains from the high butter content – and gave them out to our school crossing guards who do a wonderful job of glaring at speeding cars and generally keeping us safe as we brave a busy thoroughfare on our way to school each morning.

Bag of shortbread with holly stamp

What about you guys? Any favourite Christmas biscuits? Do you give homemade food as gifts?

Crumbly homemade shortbread

Well, that’s been a veritable flurry of pre-Christmas posts hasn’t it? I assure you I will return to my sporadic ways from now on. I always seem to get a Christmas ant in my pant right before Christmas about documenting all the good stuff.

I hope you and yours have the MOST wonderful Christmas or other festive celebration – be happy and safe and sound. I do truly wish you all love and light.

5 thoughts on “Christmas baking: vanilla shortbread

  1. I love shortbread! I made some this year too, but yours looks better. 🙂 We usually do a little goodie box with a variety of (easy- and fast-to-make) treats for neighbors and good friends, and I top them with a hand-made ornament. This year it was cinnamon pretzels, shortbread, and sesame candy.

    • That sounds utterly Christmassy and delicious. I’ve always loved the idea of a cookie (or, as we say here in the antipodes, biscuit) baking day in the lead up to Christmas. Did you put your crochet stars atop the boxes?

      • Yes, the ornament always serves the double purpose of decorating the box, so it went on top. 🙂 A friend of mine gets together with her mom about a month or so before Christmas and they have a marathon baking day–they even bought a used industrial oven that can bake hundreds at a time!–and they usually end up with several thousand cookies by the time they’re done. They freeze them and then hand them out as gifts at Christmas and have extras left to bring out through the next year. I can’t even imagine….

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