There's something about sharing my love for eating with other people that really puts a smile on my face. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of parties at our house, especially those where everyone is invited to bring a dish along and feast on a huge pot of homemade chilli.
Another great pleasure of mine is having people over for tea, old fashioned I know... But if someone is coming round just after work, around 5pm, you don't really want to be cracking open the gin just yet! So tea seems like the logical option.
Shortbread is a pretty safe bet for both of these occasions, the success of Party Rings should be all the evidence you need that biscuits are a good party idea and who doesn't enjoy a good shortbread dunk in their tea!
I found myself recently with a glut of lemons and the last bit of this summer's culinary lavender and decided that the combination would be ideal in a light, buttery shortbread.
55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g/6oz plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp culinary lavender (+1 extra tsp for decoration if needed!)
1. Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas mark 5
2. Cream together the butter and sugar
3. Add the lavender and lemon zest and mix well
4. Slowly add the flour until a smooth paste is formed, it should almost be a dough-like consistency.
5. Roll out to just over 1/2 cm thick and cut into desired shapes and place on baking tray, chill in fridge for 20 minutes
6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, cool on baking rack (they harden as they cool)
I was lucky enough to be sent a lovely personalised Jamie Oliver Antipasti Serving Board by the folks at GettingPersonal. Rather than sticking to the traditional way of using such a board, I felt it was a perfect way to display my shortbreads when having company!
The board has been personalised with my blog name (how cool is that!?) and is very generous size. You can get the board personalised with any name, making it an ideal birthday gift for a keen foodie. I also used the board at my housemate Kathryn's recent Birthday Party to display her birthday brownie mountain!
*Disclaimer - I was gifted the Jamie Oliver Antipasti Board for the purposes of this review. As always, my opinions are honest and comments my own.