Statistics suggest that the British consume over 160 million cups of tea a day. That’s at least 60 billion cups a year! (UK Tea & Infusions Association)
It’s unbelievable how much this creation of Chinese origin has gripped the hearts of Brits.
But. I have a confession to make…
I don’t like black tea and I can’t stand coffee.
I know it’s such a shock hearing those words from a Brit, right?
But yep it’s true. Apart from fruit or herbal teas I tend to shy away from these kind of beverages. Writing this post kind of brings me back to about 5 years ago when I was preparing to start uni. I remember my dad saying to me “you don’t drink coffee now but when you start I’m sure you will need to.” 5 years later and sorry to say Dad you were wrong this time lolzzz.
My parents love a good cuppa and on occasion they’ll have theirs with a biscuit (or cookie) or two. Bearing this in mind, if you are searching for the perfect accompaniment you’ll probably want something with a good texture and the right level of richness. Few choices can relieve you from this “insatiable solace” apart from a well-made shortbread cookie.
Why you ask?
Because they are so light, so buttery and thus extremely difficult to resist. There was even a time in history where this humble treat was only consumed by the Scottish during the Christmas season. Thankfully, it has evolved to form a snack we can all enjoy-all year round if we fancy. Historians have given the 1600s as the time that the term “shortbread” first came into usage as a means to describe baked goods that contained a lot of butter (or shortening). Including such ingredients as well as sugar (which at one point was worth more per gram than gold) it was no wonder it was placed in such high esteem during these Medieval ages.
However, times have certainly changed but the adoration for these beauties remains.
So here’s a foolproof recipe for coffee lovers, tea lovers and even if you’d prefer having it by itself try it and it will not disappoint:
Scottish shortbread cookies (Makes approx. 20)
350g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
(Extra sugar to sprinkle on the top)
Add the flour, sugar and salt to a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. (The end product should look like the basis of a shortcrust pastry or crumble).
Then bring everything together with your hands to form a dough that is smooth in texture. (No liquids are required because the heat from your hands will be sufficient).
Place the dough into the fridge and leave for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Roll it out to a thickness of about 0.6 cm and use a cookie cutter that is about 7cm in diameter.
Place them on a baking sheet, evenly sprinkle with sugar and bake until pale golden.
This should take 20-23 minutes but please check so as not to overcook them.
They can be stored in an airtight container in a dry and dark cupboard for up to 2 weeks (or better yet freeze them).
Until next time. Bye!