Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread

Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread

Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread

When I make Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread I can't resist making them into mini bugs... no matter how you choose to cut them, though, they taste delicious!  The fresh raspberries mean the shortbread is tangy and sweet without being overly buttery.  The vinegar helps emulsify the dough and makes the finished biscuits taste fresh and a little more raspberry-ish.

Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread250 grams butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
pinch of salt
(optional) extra red food colouring for a true red biscuit

Pre-heat the oven to 165°C

To make the raspberry flavouring: combine the fresh raspberries, vinegar, salt, and icing sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 2 minutes until raspberries collapse.  Strain the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Add the food colouring (if using) and set aside to cool - the cooler the better, so pop it in the fridge or freezer for about 30 minutes.

While the raspberries are cooling...
Add the sugar, flours, almond meal, yolk and butter to a large mixing bowl and cut together with a butter knife until the butter is almost combined with the flour.  Press the mixture against the sides of the bowl to combine and get rid of any lumps. Before adding the raspberry mix, remove about a tablespoon of the dough. 

Add the cooled raspberry mix and use a large spoon the smooth into a dough.   As soon as the dough comes together wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before attempting to roll out - the pastry starts out quite brittle and needs to rest.

Once rested, roll the dough out on a surface which has been lightly floured with rice flour (it is lighter and will not impact on the consistency of the dough).  Roll the dough quite thickly and cut into shapes.  Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

It is hard to see when these cookies are cooked/over cooked.... so use the reserved (uncoloured) tablespoon of plain dough as your guide - add a small disc of the plain dough to your baking trays.  Bake at 165°C for 20 minutes. 

Once the uncoloured dough is just golden at the edges your Raspberry Red Velvet Cookies are done - they should be just soft in the middle and slightly moist, with a crisp edge.

Serve iced or plain - my preference is to form the cookies into bug shapes and dust with glitter, but that is not for everyone....

To make Lovely Ladybugs – use a small circle cutter for the main shape, they use the edge of the cutter to indent in the head.  Use a blunt knife to mark in the wings and the tip of a chopstick to add the dots.
Fill the indents with black icing or just leave plain – a little edible glitter is always good....

For a smooth simple icing:  combine 1 cup icing sugar with a tablespoon warm water or flavoured syrup (such as elderflower cordial, raspberry cordial, liqueur or just plain lemon juice).  Combine together to form a thin easily spread consistency.  Add colourings as desired.

For Royal Icing (the one that goes like concrete when dry): add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to an eggwhite.  Whisk together until foamy.  Slowly add in 1-2 cups of icing sugar (probably only need 1 ½ cups, but if the egg is large you may need more).  This icing is gorgeously white and easy to work with for fine decorating, it does go quite hard though!

For white chocolate coating:  melt 200 grams white chocolate with a tablespoon of butter until smooth and runny.  Dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate and decorate with glitter, sparkles and other seasonal silliness!

This shortbread makes a fantastic base for cheesecake - topped with fresh raspberries and lime zest threads.

See also the Pandan Shortbread recipe for the lovely little bright green Christmas trees!

 Raspberry Red Velvet Shortbread Bugs!