Tea Time Treats is a Monthly Baking Challenge run jointly by Kate at What Kate Baked and Karen at Lavender and Lovage. This month's theme of romance has been chosen by Kate. My contribution is these heart-shaped Almond and Cranberry Shortbreads with Rose Flavoured Frosting.
These biscuits are not true shortbreads, as the dough contains an egg yolk, but I was looking for a recipe which could be rolled and cut out, and wouldn't spread during cooking. The resulting recipe was an amalgamation of several recipes, as the basic recipe I found for almond shortbread had no additons and didn't seem sweet enough. I also only had enough icing sugar for the frosting, not to add to the shortbread dough as well. As I don't have a large food processor, the method had to be adapted a little too.
300g plain flour
100g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
225g slightly salted butter, cubed, a little above fridge temperature
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
50g dried cranberries, chopped
Frosting - 75g icing sugar
1 teaspoon liquid glucose
1 teaspoon rose water
red food colouring paste
Put the flour, sugar and butter into a bowl and rub in the butter as if making pastry. Stir in the almonds, cranberries and two extracts. Mix in the egg yolk with a table knife, then use hands to gather the dough into a ball and knead lightly until smooth.
Cool, then mix the icing sugar, glucose and rosewater with enough water to make a thick paste. Add enough food colouring to give the colour you prefer. Spoon into a strong plastic bag - a small freezer bag is ideal - then snip off the corner of the bag and drizzle a random pattern over the biscuits. Allow to dry before storing in an airtight tin or box.
These biscuits have a good shortbread texture, and the cranberries cut through the sweetness well. I don't usually chop cranberries into smaller pieces, but it was the right thing to do for these biscuits. The rose flavour in the frosting was just a subtle hint of flavour which is what I wanted - I find the flowery flavours can easily overwhelm other things. I should have added more colour to the frosting - it looked dark enough in the bowl, but barely pink once it was drizzled onto the biscuits.