Here’s a recipe to get autumn started. Studded with sweet, dried cranberries, scented with fresh orange zest and embellished with sugar-coated chopped almonds. These are my favourite shortbread biscuits I’ve made to date! They’re a bit fiddly to get looking perfect, so be sure to chill the dough well otherwise the cranberries and almonds will be problematic when slicing the biscuits.
Cranberry, Orange and Almond Shortbread
for the shortbread
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g honey
- 275g plain flour
- 25g cornflour
- grated zest of 2 oranges
- 80g dried sweetened cranberries
for the sugared-almond edge
- 75g chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
- 30g caster sugar
In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar and honey together until light and fluffy. Sift in the flours, add the orange zest and cranberries and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Shape dough into a log 20cm long, wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes until firm but not hard.
In a small bowl, mix the almonds with the oil until the almonds are evenly coated. Add the sugar and stir once again until the almonds are evenly coated. Tip the sugared almonds onto the work surface, and spread them in one flat layer with no gaps. Unwrap the chilled log and roll in the sugared almonds until completely coated. Wrap in a new piece of cling film and chill for a further hour (this will aid the slicing) until the log is hard (but do not freeze).
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (170°C no fan) and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Using a sharp, serrated knife carefully slice the log into 20 even rounds (this is easiest to do by using the knife with a sawing motion and letting it work its way through the log; this will achieve the best results), space out on the baking trays and bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Leave to cool for a few minutes on the trays before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.