How Not To Make Shortbread

Shortbread ingredientsI love reading recipe posts. I can’t get enough of a job well done in the kitchen. That’s how I hoped my first attempt at making shortbread would go. It didn’t.

It was also my first attempt at biscuits, so I probably should have guessed it wasn’t going to go brilliantly.

However, I still got some nice photos of the process. I (sort of) followed this recipe from BBC Food – I ignored two key points that I recommend taking more seriously.

1. Don’t roll the dough too thin
2. If you do roll the dough too thin, you need to reduce the cooking time so the biscuits don’t burn

I also added chocolate chunks to the dough and vanilla essence, which worked better than expected considering parts of the dough were a little dry.

I was amazed at how little ingredients you actually need for shortbread…for some reason I originally thought you needed eggs?! Clearly not a kitchen connoisseur!
Caster sugar for shortbread
Is it just me, or does caster sugar have a nice shimmer to it? Just me? OK….
Mixing butter for biscuits
Beating the butter into submission is always fun. Need to vent frustrations? Get butter bashing!
Butter and sugar shortbreads
I always feel that recipes oversimplify the process of blending the butter and sugar. It really takes a lot of elbow grease to blend them ‘until smooth’!
biscuit dough
I’ve never ‘worked’ with dough before, so it was exhausting mixing in the flour. I bet all you baking bloggers are laughing at my combination of ineptitude and impatience!
Chocolate chunk shortbread dough
Shortbread isn’t worth eating if it hasn’t got chocolate chunks in!
Make shift cookie cutter
This is where it all went wrong. The recipe clearly says to roll to 1cm thick, but apparently my brain thought half that depth would be ‘fine’. It’s not.
Round shortbread
I thought they looked quite good here. I will treasure the moment when they looked like this. There was hope, promise and optimism.
Baking selfie
#BakingSelfie – just because the oven takes forever to heat up, and I don’t post enough pictures of myself on the blog. I pretty much never wear make up and always slob around the house in baggy clothes, so that’s why.
Burnt shortbread
Let’s just ignore the black bits, shall we?
Melt chocolate spread in water
To attempt to disguise the catastrophic burns (OK, they weren’t that bad!), I decided to ‘drizzle’ the biscuits with melted chocolate spread. My technique, if you can call it that, is to pop the jar into a bowl, pour in boiling water and stir as the chocolate melts. 
Drizzled chocolate spread
My drizzling method left a lot to be desired. Utterly distraught by my lack of culinary skill, more chocolate spread went into my mouth than onto the shortbread.
So there we have it – how not to make shortbread! I hope you have learnt something here today so you may go forth and make better biscuits than I!

Any culinary disasters to share? Pop them in the comments below to make me feel better about my failure!

Edit: I have since made some more shortbread which didn’t burn and went down a storm at work, hurrah!

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