This buttery, crumbly, melt-in-your mouth slice is a favourite in my family. This like the traditional scottish shortbread sold in pretty tins at Christmas time. In fact, I often make this as a Christmas gift.
The custard powder in the ingredients is the real secret. Sure, it’s not “traditional”. But traditional shortbread in the 16th century only had three ingredients (sugar, butter and oatmeal), and back in the 16th century they also believed that bread would not rise if there was a corpse (as in dead body) in the vicinity. And I mean, how did they even judge that? So, it’s time we all modernised a bit.
- Chocolate shortbread slice: I highly recommend making it with chocolate topping (use the chocolate icing recipe for hedgehog slice).
- Jaffa shortbread slice: (This is kinda exciting.) Add the rind from one orange into the dough and substitute the water for orange juice, then top with chocolate icing as above.
- Traditional shortbread: Lovely as a gift, key difference is you slice the shortbread BEFORE cooking it, and prick the top of each slice with the tines of a fork. You can also sprinkle sugar on top before cooking too for a professional finish! I’ve added in these instructions below.
250 grams butter
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup custard powder
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 ½ tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of butter
Approx 2 cups of icing sugar – have more on hand.
Optional – chocolate icing
Follow the ingredients and method used in the hedgehog slice recipe, sans the white chocolate on top.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a rectangular 20x30cm (ish) baking tin with baking paper.
- Beat the butter and sugars together (Kitchen Aid or beaters).
- Add custard powder, flour, vanilla essence and water, mix well. The dough will be hold-it’s-own-shape thick.
- Squish your dough into your prepared tray, I use a spatula or my hands to get it even, it won’t move much in the oven so what you make is what you’ll get. OR, if you’re leaving as a slice, squish into tin as above, then cut it into pieces and prick the top of each with a fork.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until shortbread is lightly browned all over..
- Cool in tin and ice once completely cool. OR, if leaving as a slice, recut into slices while still in tin, then once completely cool, place in airtight container.
- To make icing: scoop passionfruit insides into a bowl, add a tablespoon of margarine. Add enough icing sugar so it’s as thick as honey.
- To ice, use a spatula and place big dollops on the slice, then spread out until even. I then use boiling water and this handy metal cake icing tool to smooth the top (see below)
Note: I did end up with a bit of left over icing, which suits me fine as it freezes well. It’s hard to get the quantities just right.
Quantity: Makes 32 squares.
Healthy? 150 calories per melty goodness slice.
Storage: No eggs, so they will last. Store in airtight container.