Ginger / Star Anise Shortbread hearts

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February 14, 2017 by dgarnett2013

Ginger or star anise Shortbread hearts: Gatherings by Flora Shedden


Makes 25 – 30

  • 5 – 7 star anise OR 1½ tsps ground ginger (or cinnamon or nutmeg)
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


For the icing: 

  • 200g icing sugar
  • milk


Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line a large baking sheet with baking powder.

In a spice grinder, blitz the star anise to a very fine powder, if using. Or bash with pestle and mortar, then sieve the results.

Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a large saucepan over a low heat – do not allow it to boil.

Stir in the flour, bicarb and ground spices.

Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll it out between cling film (it is very crumbly) to a thickness of 5 – 7mm.

Cut out heart/ star/ whatever shapes.

Transfer the shapes to the baking sheet and bake for 9 – 12 mins or until golden.

Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

For the icing: mix the sugar together with a few drops of milk – it should be a fairly thick mixture.

Transfer one-third of the icing to a piping bag fitted with a fine round nozzle. Pipe a border around the edge of each biscuit.

Allow the icing to set for 5 mins, then return any excess to the bowl.

Add a few more drops of milk to create a slightly runnier icing that will flood the centre of the biscuits – the border will contain the flood icing.

Using a teaspoon, spread a little of the runny icing in the middle of the biscuit. A cocktail stick helps spread it to the border.

Made on Valentine’s Day, which also felt like Spring was getting closer

snowdrops2 snowdrops1


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