“He can’t be that much of a Christmas Grinch, can he?” I hear you think to yourself as you read the headline. It’s true, in the past, I have let the fact that organised religion is taking over the winter solstice celebrations get to me. They are even interfering with good, honest commercial activity by insisting that retailers and offices stay closed on the 25th of December. This is really all too much for me. Christmas is looming over the end of the year like some sort of Behemoth. I really have no choice. I will just have to stop all commercial activity for a couple of days and stick up two fingers to Christmas.
Now, when I say two fingers, I of course mean two fingers of delicious shortbread. And, what better thing to go with delicious Shortbread but two fingers of fine Irish Whiskey. I am struggling to stretch this into a post. There are only four ingredients.
My festive ingredients list:
- 3 parts flour (I used 600 grammes)
- 2 parts butter
- 1 part caster sugar
- A teaspoon or so of vanilla essence
Get the butter to room temperature and place it in your stand mixer. Turn it on low and beat the butter for a few minutes.
Slowly add in the sugar until you have a light consistency and colour. Slowly add the flour.
At about half way, pour in the vanilla essence.
Let it beat until you have a nice consistency. Divide the dough in half (if you are using the same quantity as I did).
Roll it out on a floured surface.
Pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes. This will make it easier to handle. Cut it into festive shapes.
If you want to give people the fingers, make some of them with the other half of the dough.
Prick the fingers with a fork to make them look like the ones you buy in airports.
Transfer them to oven trays covered in parchment paper. Sprinkle with caster sugar.
Put them into a 160º C oven for about half an hour. When they start to go slightly brown on the edges, they are cooked. If, like me, you get carried away and make big stars, small stars, rounds and fingers, you will need to watch the oven as each will cook at a different rate.
Take them out and let them cool on a wire rack. Pour yourself a well-earned two fingers of whiskey.
Sit back and enjoy the delicious shortbread, giving two fingers to anybody who comes into the room.
You could give them a star or a circular biscuit instead. That’s up to you.