Lemon Shortbread Rounds with Stencilled Tops

Stencilled top shortbread

A pretty addition to any party table, or a lovely gift to take to your hosts if you’re invited round for a meal (which is what I made them for). They are easy to make, they just take a bit of care and patience.

WHAT YOU NEED:

For the stencilled tops –

– 18oz/500g fondant icing (you can buy ready-made or make your own by kneading together 500g icing/confectioners sugar, 1 egg white or equivalent amount reconstituted egg white powder, and 2 tablespoons liquid glucose)
– Few squares dark chocolate
– Jam with no bits in for sticking the fondant onto the shortbread.

Special equipment needed –

– Stencils (plastic sheets with shapes cut out, available from art and craft shops)
– Small piece of sponge (I used a piece of natural sponge bought from an art and craft shop. As it wasn’t specifically meant for food use, I cleaned it first by soaking it in distilled white vinegar and then rinsing well and drying)
– Fluted cutter, she size of which will be determined by the size of your stencil shapes (mine was 5cm diameter)

For the shortbread –

– 6oz butter (170g), softened
– 3oz caster sugar (85g)
– 9oz plain flour (255g) See my flour guide
– Zest of one lemon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (the lemon zest adds a subtle lemon flavour, if you wanted a more intense lemon flavour you could use lemon essence rather than vanilla essence here).
– A little extra caster sugar

WHAT YOU DO:

For the stencilled tops –

1. Roll out the fondant until it is about half a centimetre thick (I rolled it between two sheets of baking paper).

2. Melt the dark chocolate. Lay the stencil shapes on the fondant, dip the sponge in the chocolate, wipe the excess off on the side of the bowl, and dab the chocolate over the stencil shape. Remove the stencil and use the fluted cutter to cut a circle around the shape. Repeat. Gather up and re-roll the fondant as needed.

Stencils laid on fondant

Cutting stencilled fondant out

For the shortbread –

3. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

4. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and mix in well.

5. Add the sifted flour and begin working it in with a wooden spoon, then switch to using your hands to bring it all together until it is firm and rollable.

6. Sprinkle a little caster sugar on your work surface and roll out the shortbread until it is about half a centimetre thick.

7. Using the same size cutter as you did for the fondant, cut out the rounds, gathering and re-rolling as needed.

8. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (they keep their size and shape during cooking, so can be fairly close to each other on the sheet). Put into a preheated oven 150C/300F for about 25 minutes until they are crisp. They will develop a small amount of colour only. Cool on a rack.

To finish –

9. When the shortbread rounds are cooled, spread jam on to them and place the fondant on top. As an alternative to jam, you could use more melted chocolate to stick the tops on. Store them in an airtight container.

Stencil topped shortbread on cooling tray

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16 responses to “Lemon Shortbread Rounds with Stencilled Tops

  1. Last night PBS was showing The Great British Baking Show. Actually, I only watched half of it because it was making me hungry and I was about to go to bed and didn’t want to have to eat something. But they were making Swiss rolls with all kinds of fancy decorations on top. I kept thinking, where is Vanessa? Why isn’t she here? She’s a plenty good enough baker! She’d win hands down!

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  2. Yes, those still look scrumptious, even those several days have passed since I saw them on Facebook. ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you think a bit of lemon curd would work in place of the jam for bonding the cookie and fondant? I’m thinking that’s another way to ramp up the lemon quality….

    Liked by 2 people

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