In a nano-glimpse of what I hope the future can hold for me, I helped someone today. I helped the lovely Ivory think about how to make her Christmas different and more enjoyable. 🙂 Thank you, Ivory, it’s brightened my day to know I could help you some, however little.
In response to my last post, Ivory asked what shortbread and yo-yos are. Ivory! My goodness, GF, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten my mother’s (actually my grandmother’s – or possibly even her mother’s) Shortbread and Yo-yos! They’re a little bit of Anglo-Saxon festive heritage… a sweet little treat to eat after you’ve stuffed yourself with traditional Christmas fare…or a sweet little treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. 😉
I think shortbread is so named because its “short” in a baking sense, at least – lots of butter and, in my Grandmother’s case, some rice flour to give them a slightly grainy texture. Yummy! As for the yo-yos, I can only guess they’re named after the children’s toy, though suspect the recipe has been around much longer. They’re often called Melting Moments.
Here I offer you my (great) Aunty Alice’s Traditional Shortbread recipe, together my Gran’s variation with the rice flour… as well as the Yo Yos. Enjoy! (The pictures aren’t nearly as good as my mother’s, of course, but you’ll have to wait for those!!)
I don’t know about you, but I think the title for this post sounds like a good name for a recipe book! 😉
If you think so too, then perhaps you can share your recipes with Ivory and me for a brighter festive season too. Who knows, perhaps one day we can collate them and publish them and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause so that fewer children suffer as we suffered, and more people’s festive seasons can actually be festive.
Aunty Alice’s Traditional Shortbread
10 oz plain flour
6 oz self raising flour
10 oz butter
6 oz castor sugar
Cream butter and sugar and work in dry ingredients. Press out onto flat surface, dusted lightly with flour. Press into rounds and cut into triangles, or cut with biscuit cutters. You can even make petticoat tails or doggie shapes or press them with traditional Scottish thistle woodblocks – entirely up to you. Bake in a fairly gentle moderate oven (about 160C-170C fan forced, or 180C non-fan forced).
7 oz plain flour
1 oz ground rice
4 oz butter
2 oz castor sugar
Pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in a bowl and work until smooth. Again, press out onto flat surface, dusted lightly with flour. Press into rounds and cut into triangles (I’d avoid the petticoat tails or little doggie shapes with these as the recipe isn’t as “short”). Bake in a fairly gentle moderate oven (about 160C-170C fan forced, or 180C non-fan forced).
6 oz butter
2 oz castor sugar
6 oz plain flour
2 oz custard powder
Cream together butter and sugar. Add plain flour and custard powder. Roll into balls and press with a fork. Place onto greased oven trays in a moderate oven (about 180C non fan forced) until lightly golden. Ice together when cold (just use any basic plain icing recipe. I’ve heard tales of passionfruit icing or chocolate icing, but really, this just isn’t right!!).