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James St Cookery School: Shortbread biscuits and fruit scones

James St Cookery School: Shortbread biscuits and fruit scones

James St Cookery School: Shortbread biscuits and fruit scones

 

NOTHING says ‘I love you’ on Mother’s Day like spoiling your mum with freshly baked treats straight from the oven.

This week’s recipes are for a simple fruit scone and buttery shortbread – two indulgent and delicious bakes best served with a cuppa. Both recipes make plenty so don’t forget to save some for the baker – you deserve it.

SHORTBREAD

(Makes 30)

200g unsalted butter room temperature

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½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out

½ tsp vanilla extract

70g icing sugar

250g strong white flour

Caster sugar for dusting

Method:

Using a mixer, combine the butter, vanilla seeds and vanilla extract on medium speed for one minute.

Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add icing sugar and then cream the mix together for another minute on low speed. Scrape the bowl again and add the flour. Mix on low until completely combined.

Place the dough on a work surface. Halve the dough. Place one half on a sheet of cling film and, using the cling film to help shape it, roll it out into a sausage shape. Tie at the end and repeat with the other half, then place in the fridge for an hour. (You can freeze any leftover dough.)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Remove your wraps of dough; cut into 1cm–thick rounds and place them 2cm apart on the baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes until golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Dust with caster sugar when serving. Store any that aren’t eaten straight away in an airtight container.

FRUIT SCONE

(Makes 12)

330g plain flour

60g caster sugar

1 ½ tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

90g cold unsalted butter, cubed

70g raisins

110ml buttermilk

90ml milk

1 egg, beaten with pinch of salt for washing before placing in oven.

Method:

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl; add butter and rub into the flour mixture using your fingers to combine – you want a fine crumb.

Add the raisins and mix again. Place in the fridge to chill. Best left overnight, but one–to–two hours is fine.

Remove from the fridge and preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the mix into a food mixer with a paddle attachment; slowly mix in the buttermilk and milk until the dough comes together.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and flatten it out until about 2cm thick, if you don’t have a cutter, cut out using a small teacup, approx. 5cm in diameter. Place the scones on the greaseproof paper and brush the top with egg wash.

Allow to sit for 10 minutes before placing in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes until golden.

Use a needle to check if the scones are baked. If the needle is clean when poked, they are baked through.

Remove and leave to cool for five minutes. Best served warm with your favourite toppings.

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