Light and Dark Orange Shortbreads

'Antiqued' shortbread photo

Yesterday we had an impromptu lunch at my house with my favourite newlyweds ... toasted cheeses and orange and fennel salad and chai tea with orange peel and bis-... eek! No biscuits!

Well, it was definitely a biscuit type of afternoon (cool and dim and breezy) ... we couldn't have survived without them ... so I made shortbread. This particular shortbread represents my attempt at wholemeal-ifying a Nigella Lawson shortbread recipe . We ate half of them straight out of the oven, and 2 of us weren't even pregnant ...

Light and Dark Orange Shortbreads

makes about 18 bars in an 8 x 8 in square baking pan
adapted from Nigella Lawson's Forever Summer

3/4 c cornflour, sifted (the "Light")
1 1/3 c whole wheat flour, sifted (the "Dark") - I replace the wheat bran that's left back into my flour jar
3/4 c icing sugar, sifted (use raw if you can)
200g softened butter*
finely minced zest of 1/2 an orange
2 tsp vanilla extract

*They came out really yum, but towards the crumbly end of the spectrum. If you want them creamier, use 225g butter instead.

** As always, use organic ingredients when you can.

1. Preheat the oven to 160C, 325F.

2. Mix the flours and sugar and orange zest in a large bowl. Then add in the butter and vanilla and mix well.

3. Grease your baking tin and press your shortbread mixture into it. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of it, so it doesn't think about puffing on you.

4. Pop it in the oven and pour yourself a cuppa tea. Bake for 10 min, then pull out your shortbread and cut into rectangles (still in the tin!). Put back in the oven for another 10-15 min until it's firmish to the touch and a little hint of golden around the edges. But it should still be light-coloured. I find myself taking it out before I really think I should be ... and it comes out perfect. (Guess that suggests a lack of shortbread intuition?)

5. Cool for as long as you can, then carefully extract your shortbread rectangles. Eat up, or store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

How much did this cost me?

All of my ingredients were organic. Well, the wholemeal flour was about $0.40 and the cornflour was $0.60. The icing sugar was also organic, a little more expensive than the regular raw sugar I usually use ... probably about $0.80 for the amount here. The butter was $3.50 for this amount, and the orange used for the zest was one I was eating anyway ... The vanilla we made in April, and it's already paid for itself!
So, my batch of shortbread cost just over $5. But soooooo worth it.

And these would make a really lovely present, too - I know I'll be making them at Christmastime!

Amanda xx


  1. Orange shortbread. Now that is a flavour I have to try - pregnant or not.

  2. i made these yesterday. tasted nice once they had cooled down. tasted so lovely today! the orange is so much stronger.

    made your pizza dough recipe yesterday as well. pizza for dinner last night, was great!


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