I had lunch at a friend’s place over the weekend. She happens to make the most divine sweet things – most recently, a Noah’s Ark cake with little sugar animals – monkeys, lions, elephants. Clumsy me, I picked up an elephant to ooh and aah over it, and not only did the head drop off, but half of it’s ear also chipped off! So I don’t think delicate sugar art is really my thing.
Instead, for Habeas Brulee’s theme for SHF #26, I’ve raided my cupboard for some long-unused items. Along with a bag of coloured sugar and some maple sugar chips, I’ve used ye olde faithful icing sugar to decorate a batch of beautifully buttery shortbread biscuits. The biscuit is quite delicate with a nice snap to it, and an enhanced crunch and presentation factor thanks to the colourful sugar crystals. And might I add, a light dusting of icing sugar has managed to cure many a baking mistake of mine in the past. So here’s to the art of sugar therapy..
The recipe for these biscuits comes from Shannon Bennett’s My Vue. Instead of rolling each slice out individually as per the original recipe, I rolled and baked the dough as a large sheet, then stamped out the shapes after the shortbread was baked. The best part of making this, was nibbling on the trimmings!
Shannon Bennett’s Sable Biscuits :
450g plain flour
400g butter, chopped into dice, at room temperature
200g icing sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 160’C. Sift the flour and cornflour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the butter and sugar, work together with your fingertips until no hard lumps remain. Add the egg yolks and salt, drawing in the flour. Work until the dough resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Do not overwork. Roll the pastry into a log and refrigerate for several hours. Cut the dough into 6mm slices and briefly knead each slice. Roll each slice out to a thickness of 3mm; they will be extremely delicate. Place on a greaseproof paper-lined baking tray, allowing space for spreading. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just golden on the edges.