There are some products which just scream Christmas, the very sight of which makes you feel all - well - Christmassy! For me, one of those is the big displays of instantly recognisable Walkers Shortbread, resplendent in their scarlet tartan packaging, which you see in garden centres and the like at this time of year. We were recently sent a wonderful box full of shortbread delights to sample:
The girls are both very keen on the biscuit/cake that is shortbread (apparently it is neither I learnt recently), and there was much excitement about the red box! Even more so when it was opened!!
|The picture on the boxes is of Bonnie Prince Charlie & Flora McDonald,|
probably the most romantic pairing in Scottish history
Available in a variety of shapes and varied textures, everyone is sure to have their favourite whether it's a thistle-bedecked round or a sugar-sprinkled Petticoat Tail. Lara plumped for the standard round, whilst Sophia is working her way through the Shortbread Fingers as fast as she can! It's just as well they reside in the top cupboard, I tell you!!
This simply made treat - just flour, butter, sugar and salt - contains no artificial flavourins, colours or additives, yet each shape has a unique texture and finish. The history of the different bakes is fascinating, so here's a quick snapshot of two traditional styles:
Shortbread Fingers are thick, crisp fingers with a rich butter flavour, each finger being individually marked with 13 holes to allow the heat from the oven to penetrate the shortbread and bake right the way through.
Traditionally shaped Petticoat Tails date back to the time of Mary Queen of Scots, with the shortbread being formed into large rounds which are marked into segments as soon as they come out of the oven so that they can be easily broken into triangles. It is believed that the name 'petticost tails' is derived from the old French name for little cakes: petites gastelles.
Just don't make me choose my favourite, I love them all!!
|Steve reverts to his Scottish ancestry in choosing the thistle-bedecked Shortbread Rounds!|
Established by Joseph Walker as a small village bakery over 100 years ago in Aberlour in the Scottish Highlands, Walkers Shortbread is still very much a family firm and is run by Joseph Walker's grandchildren and great grandchildren today. They faithfully maintain the tradition of producing the finest shortbreads, biscuits, cakes and oatcakes to the original recipes using only the finest ingredients. This has earned Walkers a global reputation for quality and excellence.
Perfect at any time of day, and ideal for Christmas celebrations or gifts as well as with a hot cuppa on a cold day, you just can't beat Walkers Shortbread!
You can find this iconic brand in all good supermarkets priced at around the £2 mark for a single packet, but there are some gorgeous Christmas selections available at this time of year too.