discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Thursday, 19 December 2013

My Shortbread and a Merry Christmas from me!

I think the only reason my husband realises its getting close to Christmas is by the amount of shortbread that starts getting pumped through my oven, such a gorgeous scent of Christmas...Yesterday he said "What day is Christmas next week?"  I don't know why after nearly 18 years together it surprises me!  In true oblivious style he never writes a card, sends a present to his family or organises Chrissy drinks.  Lucky he has a wonderful, thoughtful and beautiful wife who does it all : ) He does however put up the tree and he humors my need to have pretty fairy lights and some decorations.

I'm up to the last edible Christmas gift on my list.  So here it is, my shortbread recipe.  Nothing fancy, just very traditional.  I love using a mountain of different Christmasy cookie cutters and my daughter and I have lots of fun making them for family, friends and of course her teachers.

Jan's Shortbread 
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup s.r flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1/2 tspn vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 160c.  I leave my butter out long before making time as it works ever so well with super soft butter.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters (this is my nan's old Janome she handed down to me, must be 50 years old and never misses a beat!) or a wooden spoon and elbow grease.  It won't take but a few minutes.  Get as much of that precious mixture off those beaters.
Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla 
Sift all the flours together into a seperate bowl, and sift again and again.  This will make sure all the different flours are well incorporated.  Gradually add the flour to the butter and sugar, mixing well after each addition.  You many not need all the flour.  When it comes together into a nice ball it is enough.  Gently knead the ball of dough for a minute or so and then place into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Take out dough and cut into 4 pieces.  Roll out one piece at a time, between two sheets of baking paper.  You want the thickness to be even and not too thick and not too thin.  Cut out with your favourite cookie cutters and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, they need to be lightly browned.  A good way to make sure they are cooked is to check they have browned ever so slightly on the bottom.

This masterpiece above is for santa's feast on 
Christmas Eve 
by my daughter, so cute.
Today I'm wrapping up the blog for the year, its time to put the computer away for a couple of weeks and relax and recharge with my family & friends.  There will be plenty of food, wine and trips to the beach in store. 

If you are still doing the Decluttering Challenge and up to week 4 on Monday coming, bless your cotton socks! I have 3 bags to go to the Salvo's tomorrow, the plastics cupboard is done, my daughters bedroom has now got room for more stuff and the car is now spick and span, so I'm very happy with the results.  

But before I sign off for 2013,  lastly thank you, my dear friends and readers for dropping by and reading over the past 6 months since I started here.  I appreciate every single one of you.  This blog has been a godsend for me this year and it has helped me to slow down, be mindful and cook!  It has been such a steep learning curve with some fun along the way, and yummy food I must not forget.  I look forward to growing more next year, just hopefully not in girth more in the mind!  I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe Christmas and a wickedly good 2014!!  Try and take some time to relax, recharge and unwind for the new year that lies ahead.  

Merry Christmas!

Ciao, Jan xxx


  1. Merry Christmas Jan to you and your family and a very Happy New Year!

    I'm not really doing the decluttering challenge as such but have been motivated to shift a few bits and pieces as I come across them so good luck to you with any further decluttering you do :)


  2. Oh my goodness - how very productive you've been Jan. Perfect looking shortbread and beautifully packaged. Lucky 'tasters'.

    Love the old Janome and that it was your Nan's. How very precious. My hubby bought me an old roadtrain of a Kenwood late 80's. It dates back to the early 70's and everytime I use it, I tell everyone to 'cover their ears' - it's that darn noisy. But it does a terrific job. Everyone seems to have a fascination with the KitchenAid or the latest colourful fancy Sunbeams or whatnot. A little confession - I'm not poor. And yet I choose to keep my old faithful going rather than replace it with a showstopper kitchen centrepiece. There's very little loyalty to labour saving devices these days, it's almost like a fashion statement - so I'm thrilled to see you using your old trusty mixer. Love it!

    Have a good break and merry xmas to you Jan. Mariana x

  3. The shortbread recipe looks good and not to mention the actual shortbread, yum. Enjoy your break with family and friends, so glad you are enjoying your little blog as it's nice to document your journey. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  4. I love shortbread this time of year! Forget any calories it's all about good quality butter! :D I want to make a batch this afternoon but I don't think this is the right weather for turning the oven on :(


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