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
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