Chocolate peppermint shortbread

Chocolate peppermint shortbread

Chocolate peppermint shortbread

I cook the majority of the meals in our house, but baking is definitely Samana’s domain. She made this delicious chocolate peppermint shortbread one evening last week having picked up a recipe card at Waitrose. Eating these brought to mind those chocolates with mint fondant filling that always appear at Christmas, which is no bad thing at all.

First, the shortbread. Mix 175g softened butter with 85g golden caster sugar before adding 200g plain flour and two tbsp cocoa powder. Spread out evenly on a greased and lined 20 x 35cm baking tin (we used a swiss roll tin as the dimensions were just right and it doesn’t need to be deep). Bake at 180° for 15-20 minutes then leave to cool.

Shortbread just about to go in the oven

Shortbread just about to go in the oven

Beat together 400g icing sugar, 4 tbsp boiling water and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or as much as you like, it’s a great excuse to keep tasting it until you get it just right) until smooth. Then spread it over the shortbread base and leave to cool again.

Finally melt 200g dark chocolate (Waitrose suggest Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, but you can use any kind you like) with a knob of butter in a bowl over a pan of bowling water then pour over the shortbread (once the mint icing has set) and put in the fridge to cool for a final time.

I find that the recipe cards you pick up at Waitrose can be a little hit and miss. Particularly the savoury recipes which quite often include ready-made sauces and other ingredients that they obviously want to sell to you. But this one was a belter!

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