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I have so many Christmas recipes to share but I am afraid this will be the last recipe post before Santa comes tonight – the good old humble shortbread.

I have made different types of shortbread by using the leftover dried cranberry from the biscotti, the bacon chips from the salted caramel, and also introducing a new flavour, green tea by grinding the tea leaves in a mortar and pestle into powder myself.

Shortbread, again, another easy recipe anyone can do and the end result is a buttery melt-in-the-mouth cookie that no one can stop at just one cookie. The key is not to over-bake the cookie, else it will be crumbly and a lot coarser in texture. I went with the easy method by simply rolling the dough into a log, chilled until firm then slice them, but of course you can go for something a littler fancier using cookie cutters shaped of a Christmas tree or a star for the festive look, or you can even punch a hole on the top and hang them on Christmas tree as ornaments.

Talking about ornaments, this year The Pom and I have also decided to start collecting Christmas tree ornaments. We want to break away from the trendy colour-themed baubles just because the department stores say that it looks good in the lounge room but in my opinion is also commercially meaningless. We have promised ourselves only to buy one ornament for each other every year and hopefully in 20 years time, we will have a Christmas tree that is full of sentimental values with so much stories behind every single of them that reflects our life.

So this year, I bought a simple glass turtle dove to symbolise freedom, travel and also as the Miss Congeniality Gracie Hart would say, “World Peace!” The Pom just cheated and bought another one and said, “You can’t just have one turtle dove on the tree, they meant to go in pair.” And that’s our year 2010.

We wish you all a Happy Christmas filled with deliciousness and hope all your stockings are stuffed with lots of pressies.

Shortbread - Cranberry, Bacon, Green Tea
(Yield 30 cookies each flavour)

2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Flavours I used
Canberry - 1/3 cup
Bacon & Maple Syrup - 1/3 cup of bacon chips (follow step 1 in this recipe), 4 tbsp of maple syrup
Green Tea - 1/3 cup (grind in mortar and pestle until powdery fine, sieve and discard any solids, keep the powder)

1. Add flour and salt into mixing bowl and set aside. If you are using powder form flavour (eg, Green Tea) for the shortbread, add it in now too.

2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and (if using liquid flavour eg. maple syrup, add it here now) mix until combined then add the flour and (bacon or cranberry) and mix until incorporated.

3. Lay two sheets of cling wrap about 50cm long, with 5cm overlapping on top of each other, spread the dough across one end of the cling wrap, then slowly but steady wrap the dough with cling wrap and roll it away from you into a sausage, about 4cm in diameter, tie knots on both ends and secure the log tightly then transfer to fridge and let it set for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C.

5. Take the dough out from the fridge, let it thaw for 10 minutes, it should be still hard but able to cut through. Slice the rough into .5cm thickness, then peel off the clingwrap on all slices. Place the cookie on baking tray lined baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to oven and bake for 15-20mins or until a light golden colour.

6. Take it out, set a side to cool. Store in air tight container.