I'll always remember this conversation between my mum and our lovely old Glaswegian neighbour Flo:
Merry Christmas Flo! Shortbread? Made from a traditional Scottish recipe passed down for generations." This is lovely! I must get the recipe off you"
It's your recipe Flo."
The shame of being bested at your own recipe! But unbeknownst to Flo, the recipe had been tweaked with custard powder and icing sugar to make the yummiest, butteriest, waist-expanding sugary goodness ever to hit your biscuit tin.
Now Mum, that's just mean. But a bit awesome. In a tasty kind of way.
So if you're looking for something to bring to that Christmas lunch, a cheap and cheerful gift or just something to go with your coffee, read on for Flo's "New & Improved" Shortbread:
2 cups plain flour 2 cups butter 1/3 cup custard powder
1/3 cup cornflour
2/3 cup icing sugar
Cream butter and sugar
Sift flour and custard powder together
Mix all ingredients
Option A (rectangle slices):
Press the dough into a lined lamington tin (see picture) as if you're making a slice.
Sprinkle with sugar
Once it's out of the oven, use a sharp knife to cut into slices – do this while it's still very hot and soft or it will crack and break!
Option B (cookie-style):
Roll the mixture into balls
Place on a lined baking tray
Press down with a fork
Bake 50 mins at 160 – 170C
You can make this your own with a few chocolate chips, macadamias, or whatever floats your boat.
Serve with a hot drink for the ultimate before-bed comfort hit, or wrapped in cellophane with a sprig of (plastic) holly for a cute, handmade Christmas prezzie.