There’s no better excuse for baking than terrible weather. Given the choice, on any rainy day (and there are lots in Wales) I’d batten down the hatches, stick on a 90s rom-com and bake.
This time, I decided to take inspiration from an old bake-off episode and reinvent some lemon and white chocolate shortbread. I love the look of crushed greeny-purple pistachios on bakes, so I thought they’d be a tasty addition to these delicately-flavoured biscuits. So, put on a warm jumper, make a cup of tea and get baking.
55g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
180g plain flour
150g white chocolate
zest of 1 lemon
To start, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with some baking paper, then get started on the shortbread mix.
It’s best to start with very soft butter, otherwise you’ll get a very crumbly mixture. I’d recommend leaving the butter out the night before or warming it slightly in the microwave.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, then sift in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a smooth paste. This might take longer the harder your butter is.
Mix in the lemon zest, then sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll out the mixture to 1cm thick. I think it’s better to keep these biscuits on the thicker side because you get that delicious buttery shortbread crumbliness if they’re a little bigger.
Then place, well spread, on the baking tray and sprinkle with caster sugar. Put the tray in the fridge for 20 minutes, then bake in the oven for another 15-20. Don’t let them get too brown, otherwise you’ll end up with a bitter tasting biscuit.
Remove from the oven to cool slightly. While the biscuits are cooling, melt your white chocolate by microwaving it in 30-second blasts until smooth. Finely chop the pistachios too. Then, coat one half of the biscuits in the white chocolate and sprinkle the top with the chopped pistachios. Place back on the baking paper and return to the fridge to set the chocolate.
Variation: Instead of lemon, you could use orange zest, coat the biscuits in milk chocolate and decorate with finely chopped cashews.