Aga-book butter shortbread with bitter almond essence

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Ingredients list:
Butter 350g
Plain flour 350g
Semolina or rice flour 175g
Caster sugar 175g
A little muscovado sugar
A pinch of salt

Put everything together in a food processor and mix until the dough makes a ball. Press the dough into a shallow cake tin and bake in the Aga or very hot oven (220°) for 20 min – or until the edges are golden. Take out and make incisions in the hot dough so the cutting will be easier once it has cooled down.

These traditional scottish biscuits will keep for a few days in a tin and they are delicious with a cold glass of milk or a warming cup of tea.

For a personal twist, I had a few drops of bitter almond essence or orange peel into the mix.

This age-old recipe is taken from the Aga book my mother-in-law keeps in their country house. It reminds me of the old-fashioned books every kitchen had in the 80s with lurid colour photographs and no- nonsense family recipes. But then again, shortbread is a very retro biscuit. That’s part of the appeal…

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