Stress is not fun. I think it’s safe to assume that everyone feels stressed at some point in their lives, and I am a naturally “highly strung” person (I can feel Frank nodding his head rapidly while reading this) so I think I feel it more often than most. I was having a particularly stressful day in the world of bean-counting, so much so that I thought I would lose my mind and people would find me running around the office with my underpants on my head. I pottered off to make myself and my boss some lunch – I had excess and he doesn’t eat most of the time – and I realised while making it that cooking, or preparing food for people, calms me down when I’m stressed. Repeating what my clever friend Welly said, I am lucky to have a hobby/activity in my life that I enjoy so much. Take that stress!
And on the note of my lovely friend Welly, she invited us to dinner on Friday night. She and Mr Welly have a beautiful house, love cooking as much as I do, and are fabulous company, so Frank and I couldn’t wait to get there. Not wanting to arrive empty-handed, I decided to make some shortbread biscuits to take along with us. While wondering what flavour I should make, Frank mumbled “you still have a massive pile of lemons in the dining room”. Lemon shortbread it is! My Gran used to make the best shortbread, and my Scottish granddad loved it, so it must have been good. Sadly I didn’t think of getting the recipe from her, so this was my attempt at re-creating it.
Lemon shortbread – recipe from Women’s Weekly “Mix” recipe book
250g butter, softened
1/3 cup castor sugar
1 tbsp water
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp lemon rind
Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan-forced. Grease two oven trays. Beat butter, castor sugar and lemon rind in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; stir in the water and sifted flours, in two batches.
Shape dough into a 30cm x 4cm rectangular log, cut into 1cm slices.
Place 3cm apart on oven trays; spinkle with raw sugar and bake for about 25-30 mins. Stand for 5 mins, place on a rack to cool. If the biscuits are squishy (technical terms of course) when pressed, leave to dry in warm oven that has been turned off.
Shortbread can be stored in an air-tight container for up to three weeks. Suitable to freeze for up to three months.