Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make your own Shortbread – 5 Days To Go!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A basket of homemade Shortbread!

Make your own Shortbread

My husband has recently discovered he can make amazing shortbread – another reason he makes a fab husband!!  He has been mastering the technique and can now produce a batch of evenly baked, delicious in taste, Shortbread rounds.

You can make Shortbread without rice flour, however we have found that a recipe with rice flour listed makes an improved shortbread.

Ingredients – make approx 15

150g unsalted butter cut into small pieces

100g caster sugar

180g plain flour

55g rice flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

How to make the Shortbread

oven temperature – 170 degrees C

  1. Grease two baking sheets
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until combined
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the mixture
  4. Mix well with a spoon
  5. Using your hands bring the mixture together to form a dough
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of grease proof paper until approx. 7mm 

The grease proof paper helps it roll without sticking, Kev then uses a smoothing tool to finish it off.

  1. Using your round cutter, cut out circles.  Decorate them using smaller cutters, cocktail stick anything you have to hand and get creative!  Then place them on the greased tins approx. 2cm apart
  2. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray then cover them in caster sugar
  4. Eat them!

Christmas baking makes fantastic gifts for people.  We are putting together bags of goodies for people this year, last year we did Christmas cakes and mince pies.  It makes a fab little extra gift for people, it helps to keep the costs down and most importantly it is handmade with love by us for all our friends and family and nothing can beat that 🙂

Back to Mince pies for an update!

2 days ago we explored making your own mince pies and mincemeat.  Since then we have made more mince pies using different techniques and I wanted to share them with you.  Apologies it is not shortbread but its more Christmas baking to get you inspired!

Hours of Fun Craft Countdown to Christmas – Christmas edible figures. 10 Days to go!!

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A homemade edible Christmas gift!

Make your own edible Christmas characters

During my time at college doing the cake decorating course we learnt how to make lots of different Christmas cakes and models.  We spent a couple of classes making Christmas gifts and it was a lot of fun.

We made Santa, Christmas trees, Angels, Penguins, Choir boys and Snowmen out of ready to roll fondant, decorated and all edible.  We then placed them in clear bags, tied them with ribbon and gave them out as presents and people loved them.

To make them you need small boards to place each one on, some ready to roll fondant, colours (or coloured fondant), icing sugar, rolling pin, knife and cutters.  Then you need to get some mars bars and cream eggs – or anything of a similar shape.

The Choir boy, Christmas tree and Angel are made with a cream egg placed in the middle of the board.  You then need to roll out your coloured icing, cut out circles and place them over the top of the chocolate egg, one on top of the other.  Use a little water or edible glue to help it stick in place.  Arms are made from fondant rolled into shape, then make the head with fondant and let it set a little before putting it in place.

The Santa, Snowman and Penguin are made from a mars bar cut in half and stood in the middle of the board.   Roll out your coloured fondant and wrap it round the chocolate bar, fixing it in place with a little water or edible glue.  Again with the head, make it then leave it to set a little, especially to ensure the penguin and snowmen noses stay in place!

Some of the pictures above were taken at my cake class of models the tutor had made.  The following Christmas we made loads and loads of them for Kev’s work colleagues and they loved them.  Even those who are not keen on eating fondant can enjoy the decoration and then eat the chocolate!

Few hints and tips

  • To make the angel wings, roll out the fondant and cut it to shape then leave to dry flat.  Once it has gone hard you can then fix it in place using a little fondant mixed with water.  If you have any tylo powder or petal paste this works fantastically.
  • To make a head, roll a piece of fondant into a ball the right size for your model.  Roll tiny pieces of fondant for eyes and the nose, and use a knife or smiley cake tool to make the mouth – the Snowman’s mouth is made by sticking on super tiny balls of black fondant.
  • Hats and scarfs are easy to make.  Roll out some fondant.  For the scarf cut out a strip of fondant and trim it at the ends to create a tassel effect.  For the hat cut out a circle matching the size to the head, then roll a piece of fondant into a circle about 5mm thick and stick it on to top of the circle for the top of the hat.
  • Try mixing some fondant with a tiny bit of water and mixing it into a paste.  You can then pipe this using a small piping bag and create a fantastic hair effect for the Choir boy, Angel and Father Christmas for his hair and beard too!