As always, apologies in advance for the poor quality of the photos.
I made the peanut shortbread in celebration of the Offspring getting the first jab of Pfizer! [Recipe at the end of the post].
The cup, saucer, and side plate I chose this time share colour tonings but are not ‘a set’. Very few of my pretties match because I collected them one by one, over about thirty years. So, first the side plate. There are no marks of any sort on the back, so either it’s quite old, or…it wasn’t considered worth marking? No idea, sorry.
The cup and saucer do have a mark. It says ‘Foreign’, which leads me to wonder whether the design was made in Japan for the Western market :
What I can say is that the cup and saucer are what’s called ‘Lustreware’. The pieces I have are all made from a porcelain so fine, you can see through it when you hold it up to the light. They also have a kind of translucent irridescence that I love. You can get a sense of that in the pic of the cup below:
And now for that recipe! I can’t take much credit for it as it’s basically the same one you can find on the back of the packet of McKenzie’s rice flour, but here goes:
Shortbread with peanuts
- 225 grams plain flour [all purpose flour], sifted [I didn’t]
- 115 grams McKenzie’s rice flour, sifted [I didn’t]
- 115 grams caster sugar, sifted [I didn’t]
1 pinch of salt[as I was going to use salted peanuts, I did NOT add the salt]
- 225 grams of butter, at room temperature [I forgot to take the unsalted butter out so had to use it cold]
- 1/3 cup of salted peanuts
Preheat oven to 150C [302 F]. If using the fan forced or fan bake setting, make it a few degrees cooler.
The next bit says you should grease a baking tray and line it with baking paper. I didn’t. I cut a piece of baking paper to size and simply lay it inside the baking tray.
From here on in I’ll just tell you what I did. So, I put the plain flour, rice flour and sugar in a bowl and stirred with a fork.
Next, I cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients and kept cutting it into smaller pieces until they were small enough to rub between my fingers. Rubbing involves pressing the butter/flour mix between the tips of your fingers as if you were trying to wash just your fingertips. Keep ‘rubbing’ until the mixture becomes granular. Sometimes you’ll hear people say ‘until it’s like breadcrumbs’. You really don’t have to be too precious about it, just mix the ingredients together.
Add the peanuts and mix in to the rest of the ingredients.
This next part is easy. Squeeze the mixture into a ball and bung it down onto the middle of the baking tray. Spread it with your hands, trying to avoid having a big clump of peanuts in any one place. I patted the shortbread dough into a rough circle because it was quick, and I was lazy. The thickness of the circle was about the size of a peanut lying flat – i.e. I wanted the peanuts to be covered by shortbread without the whole thing being too ‘fat’.
Press the tip of a fork all over the dough to allow the mixture to expand sideways.
Place the shortbread in the middle of the oven and allow it to bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until it’s a pale, golden brown. If you have any doubts about the temperature of your oven, check after 30 minutes.
Take the shortbread out of the oven and immediately ‘cut’ it with a knife. The shortbread will still be quite soft. Once it cools you won’t be able to cut it.
Leave the cut shortbread on the baking tray until cool. Eat with coffee, tea or cold milk. 🙂