spiced christmas shortbreadrating:
Makes approximately 16 pieces or shortbread.
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g caster sugar
275g plain flour, sifted
1tsp ground mixed spice
Finely grated zest of one small orange
pinch of salt
75g fine semolina
extra caster sugar, for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C on fan) or gas mark 4.
In a bowl, beat together the butter and caster sugar until light in consistency. Mix in the flour, mixed spice, orange zest, salt and semolina, then finish with your hands to form a pliable dough.
If the mixture seems particularly soft, wrap in cling-film and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling out.
Dust the worktop with flour and roll the dough to about 1cm think. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove from tray and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Place the cooled biscuits in a suitable airtight container, such as a cookie jar ot gift box lined with tissue paper, and decorate with a ribbon and gift tag.
For a variation, try grated zest of ½ lemon mixed with 1tsp ground ginger with juice of 1 orange.