Saturday, December 3, 2011

Shortbread x2 (pandan and lemon myrtle)

Last night I had an overwhelming urge to bake. I settled on shortbread, but couldn't decide whether to kick things up a notch with some pandan extract or with ground lemon myrtle leaves.

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) 

Cream butter and sugar.
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"!


  1. Wow, they look fantastic! I wonder if I would dare to try.. hmmm..
    Hey, by the way, I am going to hypnotherapy on Monday. :)

  2. Oooh! Very excited to hear that, Laura. My only advice would be to go in with an open mind and be aware that you have to follow through with any actions at a conscious level as well :) Did you end up contacting my hypnotherapist or did you find another person locally?
    Glad you like the shortbread. If you want to use less "exotic" ingredients, you can always replace the pandan/lemon myrtle with lemon juice and zest.

  3. ok Georgia, I so don't like you now as you are starting to cost me money. LOL. First the hypnotherapy (yes, found one closer by) and now.. making me finally go to the oxfam shop. eeeeeeeek! eeeeek! Went to get the lemon myrtle and came out with two bags of stuff. LOL. I so want to go back to get the oxfam vegetarian cook book. It looked lovely! Got a salad dressing, too... so want to try making some salads now!

  4. Thanks, Lizzy - they worked out a treat! I love it when you can really lift a traditional recipe like this!
    LOL @ Laura! The Oxfam shop is absolutely ACE! We regularly get our favourite fair trade chocolate. It's called "Dark Chocolate Velvet" and I recommend it highly. Can't wait to hear how the hypno goes!

  5. What an interesting idea! And how very green those pandan biccys are! :D Love the idea of putting two very different flavours side by side.

  6. Thanks, Christina! They went down an absolute treat. Hoping to make some multicoloured ones as small Christmas gifts shortly, so stay tuned :)

  7. Georgia, I made them, I made them!!! yaaaaay!!! Well, only lemon myrtle ones, but they turned out great! Woohoo!!!

  8. Yippee!! So excited that they turned out great, Laura! I'm making another batch tonight for gifts - will post pictures soon. G :)