When it comes to baking in warmer weather and the summer months, you may find that you would still like to enjoy an occasional biscuit. However, chocolate biscuits can melt in the heat and chocolate chips can go mushy. So instead of this, why not try the more refreshing and zingy flavor combination of lemon and ginger shortbread to awaken your senses and taste buds. The warm and aromatic taste of ginger will provide a real change from the normal sugary treats, and the refreshing zesty lemon flavor will pack a real punch in this shortbread recipe.
Shortbread is traditionally crumbly in texture and is different from shortcake (which is made using vegetable fat instead of butter). Shortbread originated in Scotland when the first printed recipe was found dating back to the year 1736.
- 175g plain flour, sifted
- 100g butter, softened
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
Firstly, you will need to grease up a baking tin using a small amount of butter or margarine. If you have an oil spray then this will be an even quicker and easier process for you. You could use either a square or a round tin to make these biscuits. It is simply a case of deciding which shape you would prefer your lemon and ginger shortbread biscuits to be once completed.
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Once you have done the above, then in a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar together. Use an electric hand whisk to speed the process up if you have one available, otherwise a wooden spoon will do the job equally as well. Once the two ingredients are thoroughly combined then grate in the lemon zest and add the juice of the lemon as well as the ginger and nutmeg to the mixture.
Now you can use a sieve to add the plain flour to the mixture. Sifting the flour will simply help to ensure that you get rid of any lumps that may be present in it. Use a wooden spoon or clean hands to combine it with the other ingredients. You will notice that as the biscuit mix comes together it will still have a slightly crumbly texture to it. Do not worry about this as this is what gives shortbread its delicious crumbly structure and taste.
When you are happy that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, then you can transfer the mixture straight into your baking tin and then pat it into place. You may find that wetting your hands slightly will help make the mixture less sticky to pat into place and it will be less likely to stick to your hands and cause a mess. If you are in a hurry then roughly pat the mixture into the corners of the baking tray if you can.
Lightly pierce the shortbread biscuits with a fork to give a little texture and a nice aesthetic appearance if you wish. I do this especially when I make the biscuits in a square uniform tin. Alternatively you could use a knife to lightly score a pattern of your choosing on to the biscuits. Another little finishing touch is to sprinkle some granulated sugar on top of them just before they go in the oven. Not only will this give more flavor and texture, it will add a hint of crunchiness too.
Now you are ready to bake your delicious lemon and ginger shortbread biscuits in the oven at 150C/Gas Mark 2 for approximately thirty-five minutes. However, do keep an eye on them when it gets to around thirty minutes because depending on the type of tin you have used and the thickness of the biscuits, they may vary as to when they will be baked through. Once the biscuits turn a soft golden color on top then you know that they are truly ready and cooked.
Allow the tin and its contents to cool down before you attempt to remove the biscuits from the tin. Now you could choose to serve the shortbread biscuits when they are still slightly warm with cream or even with a cup of tea or coffee. You may even prefer to enjoy one of these tasty treats on their own.
However, there is one extra decoration you could add to these tasty bites for parties or special occasions before they disappear completely, and that is a light lemon glaze. Simply combine two parts icing sugar to one part water in a small cup. Then add in one teaspoon of lemon juice (or slightly more depending on the strength you would like), and drizzle this all over the fully cooled biscuits using a knife or spoon. Allow the icing glaze to fully cool and set before savoring the taste.
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I like how the lemon flavor gives these biscuits a refreshing zesty taste which is counteracted by the warmth of the ginger. Together it is a lovely combination and one which is not commonly found much today.
So why not treat your family and friends to these moreish and tasty shortbread biscuit bites. Perhaps you have a summer party or barbeque coming up and you want to take along something completely different that no-one else will have thought of. People will be impressed at the lemon and ginger fusion and these biscuits could be a real summer staple in your cupboards. Freeze a few if you want to spread out the enjoyment and the calorie content too!
I hope that you have enjoyed this simple recipe and that you feel confident to give it a go yourself at home today. If you want to cook more using ginger then I also have a delicious ginger biscuit recipe available. If on the other hand you want to use lemon more in your baking then I also have a zesty lemon tart recipe, lemon drizzle cake and lemon butterfly cupcakes recipe which you may appreciate too.
Below is a recipe for ‘lemon zebra shortbread’ from the You Tube channel ‘Sorted Food’. This recipe offers a twist on the usual lemon shortbread because the bakers actually use a little chocolate to cover the biscuits at the end.