Forget heart-shaped chocolates in red foil wrappers – what better way is there of showing your love than by making something for him/her with your own fair hands?
I’ve never met anyone of either sex who wasn’t touched by the gift of a box of home-made biscuits and if that sounds altogether too homely for you, turn these melt-in-the-mouth shortbreads into a Valentine’s Day dessert with some whipped cream and strawberries.
Valentine's Day Shortbreads
If you don’t have rice flour or semolina, you can make up the difference with plain flour, but they are well worth sourcing because the addition of one or the other gives these buttery biscuits lots of extra crunch. The quantities here gave me a dozen large biscuits and the same number of small ones:
200g plain flour
100g rice flour or semolina
100g castor sugar
Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5.
Sift the two flours together in a large bowl.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy.
Put the mixture in with the flour and work together with your fingertips to make a smooth dough.
Pat or roll it out until it’s 5mm (1/4″) thick then use a heart-shaped cutter to press out the biscuits (or do it freehand).
Place on an ungreased baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 325F/160c/Gas Mark 3 and bake for another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they should be pale in colour, not brown.
Let the shortbreads cool on the baking sheet for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Either box them up as a present or sandwich them with whipped cream and sliced, lightly sugared strawberries for a Valentine’s Day dessert. Before serving, brush with a little egg white or sugar syrup and dust with rose sugar (try Essence Foods) or caster sugar.
Of course, eating these means breaking your heart in two …
I have to add a late PS here: my friend Claudia (a loyal follower of this blog) made these shortbreads but surpassed my version by miles.
Her mum said they were better than shop-bought! Here’s a picture: