β€˜Tis the Season for Shortbread

December 23, 2010

Pistachio biscuits, to be precise…

On Tuesday, I visited my parent’s house in Red Hill for a family lunch. Mum bought these “Vanillekipferl” from the delightful store, Pier Provedore, in Flinders. They are a German and Austrian crescent-shaped festive biscuit. The flavour of the pistachio nut really comes through – they are lovely, light and delicate.

We also had some traditional, homemade Scottish Shortbread, which my mum received as a gift. Praise this time of year, when edible gifts abound.

I have never been a fan of shortbread, however I now realise why. I was forever associating shortbread with the heavy, stodgy, dry, store-bought, bright yellow blocks that come in those cheap yet highly fetching tartan tins. To date, those tins were the highlight of my shortbread experience. I kept hair ribbons in them and discarded the shortbread – what shortbread? However I am now converted…

So buttery and creamy, and surprisingly light – provided you stop at one πŸ˜‰ I found them incredibly delightful, and did not miss the tartan tin at all.

We also had homemade Italian Amaretti, another edible gift from a friend – it pays to befriend bakers πŸ˜‰ They were round and quite thin, with a lovely crunch to them and a beautifully rich almond flavour.

‘Tis the season for Shortbread and other cookies!

‘Tis also the season to make New Year’s Resolutions. Naturally, “befriending a Scottish lass or laddie who likes to bake and give edible gifts” is presently at the top of my list.

Heidi xo
  • Hannah December 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    It's funny, I'm housesitting in Red Hill at the moment and I so wish it was the same Red Hill as yours! And I wish I had pistachio shortbread on hand… pistachios are my favourite nuts at the moment πŸ™‚

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I'm so into cookies this Christmas too! I just baked a few batches and have been busily munching away πŸ˜› Pistachio shortbread sounds delicious!

  • Celeste @ Berrytravels December 23, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I didn't realise the beauty of shortbread till a short few years ago – and wondered where it had been all my life! pistachio shortbread sounds absolutely delish!

  • Michelle Chin December 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I didn't know what shortbread was until I was presented with some in someone's christmas party. I found myself loving it but I think that was a long time ago. Now, I prefer mince tarts for Christmas. Although I don't celebrate it.

  • Kiki Chaos December 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    I've been asked to make shortbread for christmas day this year and kind of dreading it because I'm not a big fan – probably for the same reasons you weren't – but this pistachio idea sounds very appealing. I'm going to look for a recipe. Thankyou!

  • Heidi December 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Hannah – oh I wish it were my Red Hill, we could have baking dates πŸ™‚ Pistachios are delicious, my current favourite is walnuts.

    Lorraine – it really has been a cookie kind of Christmas πŸ™‚

    Celeste – they were absolutely delicious!

    Michelle – I'm not a mince tart fan. I wish I were though, as they really do epitomise the festive season πŸ™‚

    Kiki Chaos – yes, go for a good recipe & it shortbread really delicious. I saw this recipe today which looks beautiful: lemon shortbread http://pieceofcakeblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/how-shauna-got-her-groove-back.html

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef December 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I love shortbread and there are so many varieties to try, yummm…

  • Kelsey December 24, 2010 at 3:54 am

    'Tis indeed! I never had it growing up, i think the first time i had shortbread was from my Aunty and i was 14, whenever i visit her i always ask for shortbread mmm <3

  • β™₯Sugarβ™₯Plumβ™₯Fairyβ™₯ December 24, 2010 at 9:04 am

    My first expiernce with shortbread is being sooo wonderful!!
    Loving all ur cookies galore!
    Happy hols with love and Merry Christmas!

  • Kath December 24, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Shortbread is perfect when you can suck the butter out of it …

    Merry Christmas to you! πŸ˜€

  • Chanel11 December 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Oh I can't be around shortbread, I have no self control whatsoever

    Have a great Christmas gorgeous!

  • Heidi December 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    InTolerant Chef – I'm keen to get my shortbread bake on and try lots of different styles!

    Kelsey – mmmm indeed πŸ™‚

    Sugar Plum Fairy – thank you, you too!

    Kath – hehe, yes I love to dip mine in tea. Super delicious.

    Chanel – thanks, lovely! You too. And yes, shortbread is rather dangerous πŸ™‚

    Heidi xo

  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets December 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    What a lovely selection. I love buttery nutty cookies and am about to try my hand at some, too. Happy holidays!

  • Anna Johnston December 24, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I do like the way your mind works girlfriend about new years resolutions…., I'm not a baker but I've just today tried my hand at shortbread…., I'm over the moon, it turned out wonderfully & tomorrow when I include it in my little mini hampers for our hostess I will be sneakily uber proud (just between me 'n you K πŸ˜‰
    I remember the tartan tins, I think I stashed something in them as well πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful holiday season, stay safe, eat heaps, laugh a lot & enjoy! Merry Christmas. xx

  • Hannah December 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Ohhh yummy! Usually when I think of shortbread I think of little dense/heavy biscuits, but that looks really light and delicious πŸ™‚ And have a Merry Christmas!
    Hannah x

  • laurak December 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    These do look delicious, but alas I am one of those weird people who despises all shortbread! I'm sorry!
    I have tried so many different types (including the ones in the tartin tins, particularly bad!), but I just don't like them at all. I think it might be the texture, as I'm more of a gingerbread-type fan, or that my gran brandishes a plate of shortbread at me every time I visit in an effort to convert me..
    But anyway, as always your photos are lovely, enough to make me forget my own tastebuds, for now!
    Laura πŸ™‚

  • Kiki Chaos December 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Heidi! Inspired by you, I ended up making pistachio shortbread with lemon icing for Christmas and it was fantasic πŸ™‚ Thank you, hon!

  • Heidi December 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Xiaolu – thank you! Happy holidays to you too πŸ™‚

    Anna – oooh your mini hampers are amazing, I'm sure! Merry Christmas to you too!

    Hannah – they were so light and lovely πŸ™‚

    Laura – yes, I think there are many like you, who don't love shortbread. Gingerbread is something I have only recently come to like, but I am in love with it now!

    Kiki Chaos – oh!! I am so happy about this πŸ™‚ they sound absolutely delicious! Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

    Heidi xo