For reasons I’ve not yet worked out, I decided to do summer school this year. Which means seven very full on weeks of juggling uni, work and family. Culminating with an exam on 20 December. WHAT WAS I THINKING!
Given that the usual uni semester is 14 weeks, and this is the same volume of work, I should probably get cracking. Especially as it’s now week three and I have an assignment due in less than a week. ARGH!
Of course, this just means loads of procrastination needs to take place. Yesterday it took the form of some procrastibaking. There was going to be a bit of procrastiblogging too, but I did a bit of procrastinapping instead. It was Sunday after all!
My procrastibaking excuse was that I need to start doing a bit of Christmas prep. Less than 40 days to go. Blah blah blah. Of course the reality is that this totally sensational chocolate and pecan shortbread will be lucky to make it to Wednesday. Let alone Christmas!
Shortbread is my favourite sweet baked item and has been for pretty much my whole life. The shorter and more buttery the better. And if you add chocolate and pecans, well, what can I say! YUM!
I normally don’t bake shortbread more than 2-3 times during the year as I tend to eat it all within a few days. Which doesn’t do me any favours in the healthy body scheme of life. Plus, if I ate it every week then it probably wouldn’t still be my favourite.
I’ve had a bit of a craving for pecan and chocolate over the last few days and it didn’t go away. Even after eating a large handful of Callebaut chocolate chips and an equally large handful of pecans. So I really, really, really needed to bake.
I made my own butter as I had a carton of cream that desperately needed to be used, but if that all sounds too hard, make sure you at least buy a good quality butter. DO NOT be tempted to use a cheap no-name or homebrand butter for shortbread, as it really will not taste anywhere near as good as it should.
Also, in the interests of my already-far-too-tight clothes fitting me next week, I only baked half the batch, as I know that whatever is in the cookie tin will be eaten. Shortbread dough freezes really well for up to three months. Roll what you don’t use into a log, wrap in greaseproof paper, pop it into a plastic bag and freeze.
On a total tangent, I just have to say isn’t this cup and saucer set absolutely beautiful? They are all hand painted fine bone china. I’ve no idea when they were made, I’m guessing it was ages ago, as I think this set was once my grandmothers (not actually sure which grandmother…).
What is your favourite sweet baked item? Can you even choose one?