A couple of months ago I started experimenting with different flavours of shortbread. It started yonks ago with rosemary then the lavender then the lemon and now coconut. To date, coconut has been the crowd favourite.
Every time I fly down to Christchurch I bring with me two snap lock bags packed with the stuff so that Dylan has something to have with with his morning cup of coffee at work (or at least one of them). I've made so many lots it is a wonder I haven't written about them before now.
Nana used to roll out her shortbread dough and cut it into circles on the bench. She'd take an old Tupperware lid, the one with the sunburst pattern on it and press it into the shortbread to transfer the design onto it. Hilariously naff when you think about it but I always remember the brown lid of the container that used to store the clumpy Milo.
I take the easy route and roll my dough into an even sausage, wrap it in glad wrap then leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours. Once firm I unwrap it then slice it up into pieces then bake. This prevents over handling of the dough and melting of the butter, making it a nice clean and crisp biscuit when it bakes.
Makes 20 pieces
270g butter, softened
115g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup desiccated coconut
340g plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
Cream together the butter and the icing sugar with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Whip in the vanilla and the coconut and continue to beat on high for a minute or two. Sieve in the flour and the cornflour and gently mix until a cohesive dough forms. Tip the dough onto the bench and roll and shape into a smooth and even sausage shape with flat ends. Wrap this in cling film and gently transfer to the fridge then leave it to cool for a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees on bake and line a baking tray with baking paper. Take out the dough and slice it with a sharp, flat edged knife and cut the shortbread into around 5mm slices (or thicker if that's what floats your boat). Place the shortbread on the baking tray with a couple of centimetres apart, you will probably need to do this in two lots.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until your level of brownness (I like mine golden but my family like theirs pale and only just baked). Leave to cool fully on a rack before storing in your biscuit tins.