It’s the end of 2012, New Year’s Eve, or Hogmanay as we call it in Scotland. When it comes to New Year, I am a bit ‘bah humbug’. It’s never been my favourite time, and I always find folk are either Christmas or New Year fans. I am most certainly the former.
Anyway, a quiet Hogmanay for us this year. It’s been a busy month, what with a couple of weddings, Christmas nights out and so on, plus we are off on our annual January pilgrimage to London very soon.
Back to New Year however, and we will be visiting family over the next couple of days. Usually Disneyboi’s family on the 1st and then my family on the 2nd – which is also my aunt’s birthday, where she makes us a gorgeous meal. In Scotland the tradition of visiting folk at New Year, and taking them a gift, is known as First Footing. It’s supposed to be a tall, dark, handsome stranger who crosses your door after the bells, who is your first foot and brings with him luck – and a lump of coal(?). But any visiting of people over the first few days in the New Year is generally referred to as first footing.
For my gift to take to the family this year, I decided to literally take a First Foot or Feet. Some shortbread (adapted from Nigella) and cut into the shape of feet, with a little nail varnish icing for the toes! A very easy to make shortie, if you are ‘short’ on time!
Adapted from Nigella.com
100 grams icing sugar
200 grams plain flour
100 grams cornflour
200 grams unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
granulated sugar for sprinkling
In a food processor, blend together the icing sugar, flour and cornflour. Dice the butter into cubes and add into the processor, along with the vanilla. Blitz until it forms a dough. Plop this into some clingfilm and wrap tightly, shaping into a flat disc. Chill in the fridge for about half an hour. Preheat your oven to 160oC and line a couple of cookie sheets with baking paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out, using icing sugar on the rolling pin and work surface to prevent sticking. Cut out feet shape with the cookie cutter (or whatever cookie cutter you are using). Place them on the prepared sheet and sprinkle with some granulated sugar. Chill them again for 15 minutes, then place them in the oven for 11-12 minutes. The edges should start to turn golden brown. Place them on a cooling rack immediately, and allow to cool completely.
I iced my toes with some icing, using a recipe from my friend Debs over at Debs Dust Bunny.
This is a different shortbread recipe than I have used before, what with the cornflour and icing sugar. It results in a very light cookie and is very delicious.
Happy New Year to you all when it comes and I wish everyone a very lucky 2013!
(Oh and Happy Birthday Auntie Dola when it comes! Don’t worry I won’t give the game away!!)