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Bay and Citrus Shortbread Christmas Gifting

December 22, 2011

Everyone seems to love crisp, buttery shortbread. The combination of citrus zest (I used ClemenGold but you can also use orange or Lemon) and Bay leaf (bay laurel, Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae) is a particularly good flavor combination. I have made two batches of this easy biscuit already in the past week and the family have made short work of them! I shall have to bake another batch for Christmas gifts tomorrow!



125g Lightly Salted Butter – at room temperature

60g Castor Sugar

160g Cake Flour (or all purpose flour)

25g Maizena (Corn Flour)

20g Custard Powder (the old fashioned kind not instant custard powder)

5ml Orange  Zest

Pinch Salt

1 fresh Bay Leaf



Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Line some cookie sheets with baking paper or parchment and set aside.

Grind the bay leaf together with a little bit of the sugar in a pestle and mortar then add to the rest of the sugar.

Using a mixer or wooden spoon cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add the ClemenGold zest and beat in.

Sift together the flour, corn flour, custard powder  and salt then sprinkle onto the butter mixture and mix  well just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and come away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto the counter.

Roll out the dough with a flour dusted rolling pin about ½ – 1cm thick.

Cut out the dough into shapes with cookie cutters.

Place the shapes onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for between 10 – 15minutes  or until very pale brown and crispy.

Sprinkle hot shortbread  with extra castor sugar and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Package and tie with ribbon to make wonderful home baked Christmas gifts!



TIP: You can use all flour if you prefer but the secret to light crispy shortbread is to use a fine product like corn flour and custard powder.

Enjoy… and to all of my readers finishing off work today and travelling on holiday, I wish you safe travels and a wonderfully blessed and happy Christmas season from my home to yours!

browniegirl xx

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2011 2:28 PM

    I love the sound of this, Colleen. haven’t tried bay leaf in baking before but can imagine it works well. My last minute Christmas presents may well be made from this recipe!!

  2. December 22, 2011 2:39 PM

    Like Kit I am fascinated by the idea of bay leaves in baking… but then again, saffron is spectacular in sweet things as is caradmom… I am a total sucker for shortbread too – pls send some? 😉

  3. December 22, 2011 9:11 PM

    What an exciting shortbread recipe to try Colleen. Can’t say I have heard of using a bay leaf before – I have a very healthy tree in the garden so will be sure to chose the perfect leaf for when I make these.
    Merry Christmas.
    🙂 Mandy

  4. December 23, 2011 10:50 AM

    Interesting combo, O Captain, my Captain! (Did you prick the cookies with a fork before baking, or are those dots bits of bayleaf / zest?)

    Just want to wish you all the best for Xmas and 2012! BIG HUGZ!!

    Your Groupie!! xxxxxxx

  5. December 24, 2011 12:34 PM

    They’re cooking as we speak – the dough tasted fabulous so looking forward to tasting the cookies themselves! Happy Christmas, Colleen!

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