Chocolate Orange Shortbread


DSC_0816As the arrival of the wonderful Coke advert with its iconic truck, sparkly lights and snow has so helpfully informed us:  holidays are coming!  

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And rather quickly at that.  December always seems to be swallowed up so quickly in a whirl of entertaining, eating, drinking and general merrymaking, doesn’t it?

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If you’re time starved yet still in need of a recipe for something delicious to give as a hostess gift or just to delight any holiday visitors you have popping over, then today’s recipe is for you.

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You can whip up some of this orange scented, chocolate speckled, crumbly yet crunchy shortbread in no time at all.  You will need just one bowl and a baking tray to do so!  Hurrah to minimal effort and maximum deliciousness!

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I’m not sure whether shortbread can be classified as a “festive” biscuit.  But when I think of shortbread, I think of a roaring log fire, a big pot of tea and snuggling up from the cold weather.

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It’s definitely a winter time treat (she says, writing from Singapore where the temperature is about 32°c right now!!) so when you add some orange zest into the mix, I think this is definitely worthy of being a Christmas time treat.

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Chocolate Orange Shortbread

Makes 25 small squares or 12 larger pieces

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
55g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
Zest of 1 orange
110g plain flour
55g semolina
75g chocolate (milk or dark), chopped into small pieces

To make:
  1. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, and orange zest using a wooden spoon until completely combined.  Add the flour, semolina and chocolate and mix until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Place on the baking sheet and form into either a square or round about 20cm by 20cm if you’re making a square, just under 1cm thick. Flatten out using your hand.  Divide your shape into sections (I made 25 small squares 4cm x 4cm) using a knife and prick all over using a fork, going right the way through the dough.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes until firm.  Preheat the oven to 170°c/340°f/150°c fan.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with caster sugar then bake in the oven for 40 minutes until lightly golden.
  6. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.  Either eat immediately or store in an air tight container for up to a week.

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