Mincemeat Shortbread

Yesterday (January 6th) was National Shortbread Day. Who doesn’t love a beautiful, melt in the mouth piece of chunky all butter shortbread dusted with caster sugar? Me, for one!

Shortbread is one of those bakes I never tire of making. It’s so easy to make and you can flavour it with whatever you have going spare in your baking stash.

From chocolate chip, white chocolate and cranberry to pistachio or lemon: there are a myriad of things I’ve put in my shortbread. My kids love it when I make it with Mini Eggs or different chocolate bars chopped up. It’s always good to experiment with one of those pouch size chocolate bags as there’s just enough quantity in them for a batch of shortbread or brownies for that matter. Just remember, if they have soft centres, such as Twixes, then pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes first before stirring into the shortbread dough. This will help them keep their shape and not to melt into the dough.

Yesterday afternoon was meant to be a baking experiment afternoon with new recipes. But I was sidetracked. I got in late from work as I’d stayed on to do some preparation for next week and then I went out for a dog walk. By the time I got in, I sat down with a cup of tea and started on my crochet. Talk about priorities!

By the time it got to 5pm I suddenly remembered I was meant to be recipe testing. I had planned a couple of things around Christmas leftover baking ingredients: mincemeat and marzipan.

As there was half a jar of mincemeat which needed using up, I thought about how I could make them into biscuits. There were lots of recipes on the internet for Mincemeat Shortbread where a whole jar of mincemeat is sandwiched between two layers of shortbread and baked in a square tin. I chose to make my usual shortbread recipe but just to stir the remainder of the mincemeat into the dough and bake as normal.

Trying to bake something at the same time as cooking your dinner is never easy but the shortbread goes in the oven low and slow so I could concentrate on chopping up the veg to go in our Beef Stroganoff.

The shortbread came out a little bit darker than my usual one, mainly due to the mincemeat making the mixture darker. But oh my, it tasted delicious and the fruity spices mixed in with the buttery shortbread made it taste even better.

So here’s how to make Mincemeat Shortbread:

Makes 12-16 pieces (depending how big you like them!)

Use a 23cm/9” square baking tin greased and lined with baking parchment.

Pre-heat your oven to 160oC (140oC) fan/ 320oF/Gas 3.

  • 250g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g rice flour or cornflour
  • 250g (or roughly half a jar) of mincemeat

To make the shortbread:

I use my mixer to make my shortbread as I have naturally warm hands. First, I cream the butter and sugar together in the mixer. Then I add in the flour and cornflour until it becomes a dough. Finally, I stir in the mincemeat until it is well mixed in and distributed.

Press the dough carefully into the prepared tin, making sure it is smooth and level in all corners.

Put in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until lightly golden.

Place the tin on a wire rack to cool down and then cut into pieces after about 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely before taking out of the tin.

I bet once you have tasted one of these, you’ll want another and another. I will definitely be baking some for next Christmas- never mind the leftovers, we’ll be having these alongside the mince pies!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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