What's a girl to do (as my bestie would say: "problems of the first world"!)? I decided to make both! The results were great and I am thrilled to share the recipe(s) with readers.
However, I must first give some credit to Adriana's inspiring blog post in September, which drove me to start experimenting with some more native ingredients - cheers!
Pandan shortbread and lemon myrtle shortbread
Makes 30 shortbread (half of which will be lemon myrtle flavoured and the other half, pandan)
175g butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 tbs cornflour
1.75 cups plain flour
1 tbs vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 tbs pandan extract (found in all good Asian grocery stores)
1 heaped tbs ground lemon myrtle (available in Oxfam stores around Australia)
Add vanilla extract, cornflour, plain flour and salt. Combine well to create a buttery dough.
Simple so far, right? Here's where the creative bit kicks in:
Split dough evenly into two mixing bowls.
In one bowl add pandan extract. Mix well.
In the other bowl, sprinkle dough with lemon myrtle and stir through. This mixture may need a few drops of water to assist the combining process. Note that if you're unable to get your hands on lemon myrtle leaf (I suspect its availability outside Australia would be limited, though you can purchase it online), you can add a few tablespoons of lemon juice and the zest of one lemon to this batch of dough instead.
Remove dough from bowls and form into a rectangular log.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
When the dough has firmed up and you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 170°C.
Remove dough from fridge. It should look something like this:
Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper. Slice the logs of shortbread into centimetre wide slices and place on trays like so:
Bake shortbread for around 15-20 minutes. Note that the biscuits will still be a little soft when they come out of the oven. This is completely normal and they will firm up as they cool.
You may wish to dust the biscuits with a little icing sugar at this point, but I chose not to so that the colours of the ingredients could really shine through.
I think these little gems look particularly festive and fitting for this time of year. Indeed, they may even make their way into some Christmas stockings later in the month.
"And what about the taste?" I hear you ask.
I think my beloved put it best as he was munching on one of the pandan biscuits: "hmm mmm urg mmm good"!