Elle Townsend has whipped together a fantastic shortbread recipe for spring and shows you how to decorate with the pretty Dovecraft Ribbons!
I love this time of year, spring is in full swing and doing its thing! Bare twigs transform into billowing blossom, vivid greens return to the trees and hedgerows, the birds begin to sing again and the promise of warmer months are just round the corner.
It's this time of year that, rather than the indulgent comfort food that is synonymous with winter months, I really crave fresh light flavours; Spring vegetable salads, delicate herbs and fresh zingy citrus. I love to include these flavours in my baking too, with edible flowers coming into bloom also; it's a really inspiring time of year for fresh produce.
So, in celebration of spring, here is my recipe for springtime lemon thyme shortbread bunting
You will Need (For the Shortbread)
150g Unsalted Butter
75g Caster Sugar
150g Plain Flour
75g Fine Cornmeal
A Pinch Of Salt
The Zest of a Large Lemon
3 Sprigs Fresh Lemon Thyme
Assorted Cookie Cutters (5-6cm in diameter)
Makes 30-35 biscuits, depending on the size of cutters used
150g Icing Sugar
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
An assortment of colourful sprinkles, such as fresh herbs, fresh or dried edible flowers, chopped pistachios and dried fruit
How to Make
- Place the butter, sugar lemon zest & the leaves from the thyme sprigs together in a mixing bowl and beat together with either a wooden spoon or electric handheld whisk until light and fluffy.
- Sift in the flour, add the cornmeal and salt. Mix together until combined and smooth.
- Turn the mix out onto a floured surface and kneed by hand so you have smooth dough.
- Roll the dough out on a well floured surface to a thickness of around 5mm.
- Cut shapes using cutters and lay onto a baking sheet lined with silicone paper.
- Using a skewer or toothpick pierce holes into the biscuits to thread the ribbon through. These need to be quite large, around 5mm in size.
- Place the tray into the fridge and rest the biscuits for 30 minutes, this will help them keep their shape during baking.
- In the meantime pre-heat your oven to 195°C/180°C fan assisted/Gas mark 5
- Once the biscuits have chilled, place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 10- 12 minutes, until golden brown.
- The biscuits may spread a little so holes close in and become less defined, this is easily rectified by re-piercing them whilst the biscuits are just out of the oven and still a little warm
- Allow to cool completely whilst you prepare the icing.
- Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl, slowly add the lemon juice and whisk together until smooth.
- Dip the biscuits into the icing and allow the excess to drip off into the bowl. Scatter over the flower and herb decorations.
- Allow the icing to dry completely before carefully threading the biscuits together onto your chosen length of Dovecraft ribbon.
This garland makes a lovely table centrepiece or edible home decoration to celebrate spring!
Hard herbs such as rosemary and thyme work best in baking, do feel free to experiment, however soft herbs such as basil don't survive hot temperatures so well.
Other recipes: I recommend adding herbs and lemon zest to are fruit crumbles, pastry and buttercreams to decorate cakes with.
You can store the cut, unbaked shortbread shapes in your freezer for up to a month in case you get caught short or want to prepare them in advance before baking and decorating.
Edible springtime flowers make beautiful decorations and add natural colour. They can be added to spring salads also to add extra flavour and colour. The ones in these pictures came from my own garden. Flowers to try include violas, saxifrage, primrose, dianthus and pansies.
Be aware, not all flowers are edible, daffodils and hellebores are also in abundance at this time of year but are toxic and not to be used.
Edible flowers can also be purchased from greens of devon, they have some lovely dried flowers such as cornflower and rose petal too.
We would love to see how you use this Elle’s recipe so don’t forget to share your bakes in the inspiration area and to #Trimcraft when uploading to social media.