Not that I really need an excuse to spend time in the kitchen baking, but a forthcoming bake sale at work and a wet Saturday afternoon meant my mind turned to biscuit making. I had a plan in mind – to try making some rose shortbread, with a backup plan of a simple recipe should that not turn out well.
With the theme of pink (fund raising for breast cancer awareness), my mind turned to roses, and fixated with making something using rose water and/or rose petals. Rose water was easy to find, and I used T Leaf T’s rose petals herbal tisane for the flowers after a suggestion from a colleague. After spending several hours googling recipes, I opted for rose and pistacio shortbread (but without the pistachios when I saw the price of ones for baking) from Kerry Cooks.
I took Kerry’s advice and added the rosewater drop by drop. On reflection, I perhaps didn’t add quite enough as the rose scent and flavour were very subtle, but better that way than something overpowering I guess. I’ve put the link to her recipe above, so do go ahead and try them. The result is a lovely buttery biscuit with just a little bit of glamour.
The back up plan wasn’t needed, but I made a batch anyway – one can never have too many home made biscuits. The recipe is one adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly book of Cakes, Biscuits and Slices. This recipe always works and can be adapted in different ways, this time with the addition of desiccated coconut and dried apricots.
Preheat the oven to 150C if you have a fan oven (170C if you don’t). Grease oven trays and line with greaseproof paper. Beat 200g of softened butter, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 160g sifted icing sugar and an egg with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Stir in 65g of finely chopped dried apricots and 40g of desiccated coconut, followed by 260g of plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (do this in two batches to make it easier). Roll level teaspoons of the dough into balls and place on trays. Leave gaps as they do spread a bit. Bake for around 15 minutes and cool on the trays. It is quite difficult to have just one of these.
Biscuit no 2 – coconut and apricot
After all that baking, the sun came out, and I took cup of sakura rose green tea, keeping with the theme and a couple of cooks treats (ie the biscuits that are a bit of an odd shape) and sat outside to plan the next floral baking project. Watch this space.