Catchy eh? When I went on Tastespotting recently, almost every other photo was an apple recipe. Particularly apple pie. Apple Crumble Bars, Blackberry Apple Tarts, Mini Apple Hand Pies, Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Icing…it went on and on. I took this as a clear (and hunger-inducing) sign to get baking and I have been – baked apples, stewed apples, apple crumb bars have all been made and thoroughly enjoyed, but for one reason and another not blogged. So it was out to the garden to pick some final rosy red apples, then back to the kitchen to continue on this Autumn baking bandwagon and finally get something appley on the blog.The name sounds overwhelming for what is an normally a very simple biscuit, but for some reason it works. It started off as Apple and Carrot shortbread, a Tamasin Day-Lewis recipe. I chucked in a handful of sultanas as I love the texture they bring to anything, and they emulated the flavours of carrot cake. I could have left it there, but when I tasted it they actual biscuit dough tasted quite bland – perhaps as a result of the savoury carrot and relatively small quantity of sugar – and we didn’t have any vanilla, so in went the almond.My parents were quite snooty about these when I told them (me: I’ve made apple and carrot shortbread. My Dad: …was that a mistake?) but don’t be like them! I couldn’t really taste the carrot, and I think the apple just added extra sweetness and texture. Plus I like to think that the added fruit and veg makes these cookies ‘healthy’, meaning you can eat more! Enjoy :)
Apple, Carrot, Almond and Sultana Shortbread, adapted from Tamasin Day-Lewis
200g wholemeal flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g light brown sugar
50g carrot, grated (about 2 small carrots)
1 small apple, grated
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180’C or 350F. Sift the semolina, flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl, and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the carrot, apple, almond extract and sultanas.
3. Add the the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir until a dough forms and brings everything together. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
4. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to around 1cm thick. Stamp out shortbread biscuits, then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown just a bit.