I've been pretty fortunate with mother in laws over the years. My boyfriend before Mr NQN had a wonderful mother who was warm, lovely and generous. When she would come back from trips, she would surprise me with lovely bottles of perfume, a hug and a welcome into her home. Sometimes I would stay for a few days if we were on holidays. They lived in a beautiful townhouse on the water and they had furnished their home so comfortably and tidily.
One day I walked downstairs to the kitchen where she startled and let out a cry. She was nibbling on biscuits in the corner. "Oh no!" she said through crumbs as if I had caught her doing something naughty. She and her husband were on a diet and the poor thing was red faced. I in turn felt mortified for different reasons - the last thing I wanted to do was make her feel uncomfortable in her own home. So I joined her in a cookie and tried to laugh the whole thing off saying that it was definitely "cookie time" and "tea o'clock."
But after that, whenever I went downstairs, I made sure to do it making plenty of warning noise! ;)
This is a shortbread is one that I'm sure anyone would love. It's a mix between gingerbread and shortbread with the texture and butteriness of shortbread with the flavour of gingerbread. I pressed it in a shortbread mold that Joanne from What's On The List was kind enough to send me for Christmas.
Meanwhile, if you'll excuse me, I've been thrown a bit of a curve ball with my current in laws (I shouldn't be surprised really) so I'm frantically trying to salvage Christmas on my end. Stay tuned Dear Reader for the results. Hopefully I can save Christmas and you will read all about it tomorrow! xxx
So tell me Dear Reader, ever been thrown a last minute curve ball at Christmas? And what are you cooking for Christmas lunch or dinner?
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 200g/7ozs butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cup plain flour
- 3/4 cup rice flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger (or very finely chopped stem ginger)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- pinch salt
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 190C/374F. If the weather is hot, there is no need to take the butter out of the fridge beforehand - just cut it into cubes. You don't want it getting too soft in which case it is unlikely to hold any prints or patterns. If the weather is cold, take the butter out of the fridge until getting soft but not too soft.
Step 2 - Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and all the small lumps of butter disappear. On the lowest speed add the two flours, spices and salt and mix until just combined.
Step 3 - Press into a lightly floured shortbread mold. If you don't have one, roll dough out and cut into squares and prick with a fork lightly. Place on parchment lined baking tray.
Step 4 - Bake for 5 minutes and then lower heat to 160C/320F and bake for 35 more minutes. Cool completely in tray. Loosen sides with a palette knife and carefully remove from tin.