Shortbread is a biscuit which no matter what time of day (or night) goes down perfectly with a cup of tea, glass of wine or large G&T.
It’s light, crumbly and buttery and has that beautiful melt-in-your mouth texture if it’s baked properly.
To lighten up the classic recipe, and because we’ve got an abundance of herbs in pots at the moment, I split the biscuit mixture in half and added lemon zest and then either rosemary or lemon balm.
The herbs give the shortbread a little bit of a grown up taste and the combination of lemon and rosemary (or lemon balm) is incredibly fresh and zesty and works a treat.
Best thing of all, it can be knocked up in under an hour so the perfect sweet treat to make if you’re in a hurry.
200g plain flour
50g caster sugar, plus a little extra for decorating
125g unsalted butter, very cold
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp rosemary chopped finely (plus a few springs for decorating)
1 tbsp lemon balm chopped finely (plus a few leaves for decorating)
A pinch of salt
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 170C/190 fan/gas 3.
Mix together the flour and sugars.
Cut the butter into squares as soon as you take it out of the fridge (you don’t want it to get too warm). Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. If it gets too sticky and warm just pop it back in the fridge for a bit.
Split the crumbs into two bowls and in one add the chopped rosemary and half the lemon zest, and in the other the chopped lemon balm and the rest of the zest.
Squidge the mixture together in your hands to make a round ball, wrap with cling film and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
When the shortbread has had time to cool get it out of the freezer and roll out to a thickness of about a £1 coin.
It will be crumbly but don’t despair, feel free to mould it together with your hands if it falls apart (you won’t notice this once it’s baked).
Cut rounds out until there’s no more shortbread left and pop onto a non stick baking tray (or on a baking tray covered with baking paper).
Cook for 30 minutes until slightly browned (keep an eye on them towards the end).
Take the shortbread biscuits out of the oven and leave to cool before serving.
Sprinkle with caster sugar and fresh herbs to finish these beauties off.