Last week was my turn on the rota for cake at work. We have a big team briefing every Friday known affectionately as the “Friday cake meeting” – there’s a rota with each week assigned to a member of the team! It’s taken very seriously! Unfortunately, I have set a rather strong precedent and so I had people telling me all week that they were excited about what I was going to produce on Friday – talk about pressure!
The trouble with the Friday cake meeting is that it is on a Friday! This means that you have to bake on a week night after work and as it had been a long week, I wasn’t up for making anything fancy! To complicate things further, we have one person who is gluten-intolerant and one person who is allergic to nuts and eggs! They always insist that they don’t want people to go to extra effort for them but I wanted to ensure that I catered for them both.
I decided to go with the gluten-free lemon polenta cake that I made earlier in the week (which was a bit of a disaster as I miscalculated and used too few eggs – having drowned the resulting cake in lots of lemon syrup, it was edible but nowhere near perfect – fail!) and two new recipes: toffee apple crumble cake and these orange and cinnamon shortbread biscuits.
I’d seen this Cookie’s cakes and Bakes recipe on Pinterest a little while ago and had pinned it onto my Christmas Baking board. It seemed a nice simple recipe that would work well as little baked Christmas presents, or as part as a Christmas hamper. It’s also conveniently egg-free and so this seemed like a great opportunity to try it out.
It’s a great simple and speedy recipe and would be great for making with kids. I used my favourite teapot cookie cutter and simply dusted the cooked biscuits with icing sugar, but you could drizzle with chocolate, or an orange blossom flavoured water icing. You could also vary the flavouring – adding lemon zest, or vanilla essence, or other spices. Or you could add chopped chocolate, or dried fruit, or anything else you fancy!
The resulting biscuits are short and crispy. They will lose their crisp crunch after a day but they will last fine for at least a week. I actually prefer them once they are a day old and are a bit softer, but that’s probably a matter of taste!
Orange & Cinnamon Shortbread
- 200g soft butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g cornflour
- 250g Plain flour
- Zest of one orange
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
- Beat the butter until very light and creamy.
- Add the orange zest and beat.
- Slowly add the icing sugar, cornflour, plain flour and cinnamon, stirring gently until combined.
- Use your hands to bring the mixture together to make a dough. Try not to handle the dough too much – it will affect the texture of the shortbread.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment until 10mm thick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.
- Re-roll any off-cuts and cut out more shapes.
- Place on baking trays and bake for 12-15 minutes or until pale golden around the edges.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray.
- Tip onto a wire rack to cool completely.