As some of you may know, Mental Health is a subject very close to my heart and cooking and baking has been a great therapy for me when I have had my own stuggles. So when I came across the amazing Jess, who has set up the The Anxious Bakers’ Club, I just needed to tell you about she is doing.
The Anxious Bakers’ Club provides an online community and baking workshops that encourage you to bake for better mental health. It is a membership for those who are ready to learn tools to help improve their mental well-being, those who want to bake, connect with others and hone in on the small things that can improve their mental health. Plus they offer regualar “tea and cake” sessions and who doesn’t love a chat over tea and cake? All in all it is a totally brilliant concept, and one I wholeheartedly support.
Christmas can be a particularly stressful time for many and Jess’ All-butter shortbread recipe is a bake enjoyed all year round, but at Christmas it just feels extra special. Her shortbread recipe has been carefully created over the years to provide the most buttery, melt-in-the-mouth biscuit.
Whilst simple to make, the tactile elements of rubbing the butter into the flour mix and gently pressing the shortbread into the tin allow you to ground yourself in the moment and while the shortbread cools in the fridge before baking, why not pop on a Christmas playlist and take part in some self-care amongst the stress of the season.
Download Jess’ beautiful step by step recipe card here, which includes photos and tips and tricks, for getting perfect results.
ALL-BUTTER SHORTBREAD RECIPE
- Grease and line your tin with baking paper, cutting the corners so that the paper lies flat on each side. Preheat your oven to 160°c/140°c fan/gas mark 3.
- Add the plain flour, caster sugar and cornflour to a mixing bowl and gently combine with your hands.
- Slice your butter thinly and add to the bowl, tearing into smaller chunks so it’s easier to rub into the mix.
- Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mix. From time to time, tap the bowl on your work surface and the butter will come to the top. You’re wanting your mix to resemble fine breadcrumbs.
- With Shortbread, you want to press it into the tin when it still looks crumbly. So at the first sign of your mix coming together into a dough, tip it into your lined tin.
- Guide the crumbly mix all across the tin, so you have an even coating. Then, using your fingers, press down until it becomes compact.
- Create small holes all over your dough, using a fork or the point of a knife. This is an important step as it allows air to escape whilst baking.
- Pop your tray into the fridge (30 mins) or freezer (15 mins) until it is hard to the touch.
- Place your shortbread into your pre-heated oven for 35 minutes until a very pale golden brown all over. If your shortbread isn’t done after 35 minutes, place it back in for 3 minutes and repeat until baked.
- As soon as the shortbread is out of the oven, sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar. Pick up your tray (remember your oven gloves!) and tilt at each corner so the sugar spreads evenly across the tray.
- Whilst still warm, slice the shortbread into 18; 6 down and 3 across. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Keep in an airtight container and enjoy within 2 weeks.
Find out more about The Anxious Bakers’ Club here.