Saturday was a cold, damp day, following on from a string of colder, damper days and in the cottage things were definitely feeling more Autumnal than Summer like and so we made the decision to light the Rayburn for a couple of days, to help dry out the air and warm everything up. Ordinarily, lighting the Rayburn for a couple of days before the usual late September/early October official relighting, normally heralds the return of scorching hot weather. Well it’s Sunday morning and we’re still waiting but as we really do need the house to dry out and warm up, that’s no bad thing in my opinion. Mud, on the other hand is thoroughly fed up because rain has stopped play, or rather painting, in respect of Bonnies body panels….. again!
The thing with the Rayburn is that is takes several hours to get back up to optimum operational temperature and so it was early evening before the benefits were truly beginning to be felt. With the oven temperature nearly at biscuit baking levels, I decided to make the most of having my oven back in play and make some shortbread and so I got the butter out of the fridge to soften whilst I did dishes and got Little Mudlet ready for bed. This was slightly earlier than her normal bed time and she did try to argue that she was fine but two days of school had taken their toll, if her mood was anything to go by and I could tell she was absolutely exhausted.
I think there are few things more enchanting for a child, than to find a plate of sweet, home made treats when you come down in the morning and so I decided to wait until Middle Mudlet was in bed before I started making the shortcake. Unfortunately, I had made a repeat of my earlier mistake on my jumper (sending the cable the wrong way) but unlike last time, I hadn’t spotted it quickly enough and so spent the time before Middle Mudlets’ bedtime, frogging 7 complicated rows of knitting.
‘Frogging’ for those of you who don’t knit, is the technical term for ripping back the rows to correct an error and originates from the ‘rip it’ ‘rip it’ of the pull back!
I used the shortbread recipe from my favourite biscuit book which incorporates butter, flour, cornflour, ground almonds and caster sugar and makes a nice crisp biscuit. I deviated slightly when it came to the biscuit formation because where the recipe called for me to roll the dough into two rounds, 1/4 inch high for baking, I opted to roll my dough thin and to use my new Cupcake shaped cutters to create supper thin, extra crisp shortbreads.
I love my new cutters. I got them from a points reward scheme run by Kenco coffee and they are actually from the same range as the Cake Slice and Cake Tester we gave Eldest Mudlet for her birthday. I’ve been itching to use them but having only the barbeque to cook on, this hasn’t been possible. Cakes, scones, bread and even Yorkshire Puddings are perfectly doable on the barbeque but I find that biscuits present more of a challenge.
So this morning the girls walked into the kitchen and the grey, dismal morning was brightened by surprised smiles as they immediately spotted the plate of goodies waiting for them.