Vanilla and Cardamon Shortbread

I spent the day at my grandmas today and like old traditions made some shortbread, which actually happened to be what got me into baking as the first thing I ever baked was the the famous family shortbread. Its usually just made with vanilla essence as it is a very 1960s recipe, however I used vanilla bean paste instead aswell as a dash of cardamon. I sandwiched some together with a lemony icing and the other I just dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with almonds. 

Vanilla and Cardamon Shortbread

225g really soft butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/4 tsp ground cardamon 
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup cornflour
pinch of salt

55g softened butter
3/4 cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
juice and zest of 1 large lemon
20g white chocolate, melted and placed into a piping bag fitted with a tiny hole writing nozzle. 


75g white chocolate, melted
40g roughly chopped almonds or any other nut

Pre-heat your oven to 150c fan-bake and line a baking sheet with baking paper. 
Cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Sift over the cardamon, flour, cornflour and salt and mix to combine, the dough should be crumbly but come together when you squeeze with your hands. Pat the dough down into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to about 4 mm thick. Using a sharp vegetable knife, cut the edges off the rolled dough to form a rectangle then cut into smaller rectangles about 3 cm by 6 cm. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until barely golden. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the lemon icing, beat the butter until pale and cream. Add the icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and zest and beat untill combined and you have a smooth fluffy icing. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small circle top nozzle. Pipe the icing onto the bottom side of 1 piece of short bread and using another piece of shortbread, sandwich the two together. cut out two small pieces of baking paper and place on each side of the shortbread, leaving a gap in the middle. Dust over with icing sugar, remove baking paper and pipe over some white chocolate in whatever pattern you like. OR dip half of each piece of shortbread into the melted white chocolate and sprinkle with the almonds. 

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