I like doing a little bakey-bakey with Jacob. Especially if we’ve been up since 7am, have gone through having breakfast & putting everything away and he’s gotten so bored with his Thomas The Tank Engine track that he’s started to deliberately shove Thomas off the railway bridges and saying ‘Oh no…’ in a really unconvincing way.
Last week, we made shortbread for the first time. It would have been the usual cupcakes scenario that I know Jacob has the adequate attention span for, but we hadn’t one single solitary egg in the house. We delved into our recipe books and Jacob pointed out ‘That one!’ to the shortbread page. Thankfully, no eggs, and as I usually like, shag-all effort needed! BOOM!
Mix 4oz plain flour, a pinch of salt and 2oz castor sugar in a bowl. Takes all of 10 seconds.
Split 1 x vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds. This usually wrecks my head – I find if you squeeze it on both sides between your fingers, it makes it a little ‘fatter’ and easier to split open with a sharp knife. Chuck in the seeds along with the grated rind of 1 x lemon.
Chop 4oz butter into small pieces into the bowl and get your hands in there until the mixture resembles a soft dough. (I usually give Jacob a tiny bit in a separate small bowl so that he can ‘help’. It’s REALLY HELPFUL when it ends up in his or Pearl’s hair… but it is fun for him, so no matter!).
Press the dough into the tin of your choice – I used the back of a dessert spoon to flatten it down. Press a fork around all the edges to give it a little fancy design (much like our grannies used to do on the edges of apple tarts!)
With a sharp knife, mark the dough out into the pieces/shapes that you would like to have in the end, and prick it all over with the tip of a fork. Lightly is best, so probably don’t let your two year old get involved on this one ;o)
Bake in a preheated oven on 150 degrees celsius for 45-50 mins. Cool it in the tin for a few mins, sprinkle with a little more castor sugar. After another couple of mins, cut out the portions and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely.
The smell of sugar and lemon in the kitchen was deeeelicious, and Jacob and I really enjoyed scoffing them after lunch! Furthermore, Thomas lived to see another day….