Friday, 24 May 2013

Pink Praline Shortbread

I had a massive craving for shortbread recently, it's one of my favourite biscuits and I try not to buy it very often as it doesn't last long enough. I love the crumbly butteryness of shortbread especially with strawberries and clotted cream in the summer. I also tend to restrict myself to how often I make my own shortbread as again I seem to munch my way through it too quickly. However I was having one of those days working at home where I didn't seem to be getting very far and the biscuit tin was empty. I didn't just want plain shortbread though so I went cupboard raiding. This is something I've been doing quite a bit lately in an effort to use up half empty packets and avoid having to go shopping again. My recent cranberry and cinnamon cupcakes with chocolate maple buttercream were a great success for cupboard raiding. For this cupboard excavation - my cupboards really aren't that big - I chanced upon a packet of pink pralines that I bought in France last year. I'd seen Michel Roux Jr make a pink praline tart on an episode of Master Chef ages ago and thought it looked very pretty. It didn't look overly complicated and I thought that maybe one day I might give it a try. Sadly after buying the pralines I realised that I didn't like them very much, they were tooth achingly sweet and had a weird after taste from all the food colouring. Even my boyfriend who has a very sweet tooth didn't like them so after only sampling a few they languished at the back of the cupboard and even moved house with us. They were quite expensive and I still had visions of making that tart so I kept hold of them. I checked the packet a couple of weeks ago and the best before date was January this year, but considering the nuts are enclosed in a thick casing of sugar I figured they'd still be OK.


To incorporate the pink pralines into the shortbread I whizzed them up in the food processor to a coarse powder. I will warn you now that if you give this a go it will make a terrible racket, the neighbours must have wondered what on Earth I was doing! The pralines need a good 5 minutes or so on full power to pulverise them, of course this depends on how powerful your machine is and the sharpness of the blade.  I still ended up with a few chunks but this is fine for a bit of extra texture.



The good news is that when baked into shortbread the pink pralines now taste good, the food colouring after taste is toned down by the biscuit dough and they come out a pretty pink colour. You don't need to go to France to buy pink pralines, there are several places selling them online. This is good news for me as I only have a few left in the packet and I want to make this shortbread again, and one day I will make the pink praline tart too.

Ingredients - makes around 24 depending on cutter size

150g pink pralines
100g caster sugar
200g butter
300g plain flour

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In a food processor whizz the pink pralines to a coarse powder then transfer to a bowl
  • Add the sugar, butter and flour to the processor and whizz until you get a sandy texture, return the pralines to the processor and keep processing until a dough ball forms. Turn of the processor and bring the dough together by hand. 
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface to just under 1cm thick and cut out shapes. I used a 7cm flower shaped cutter.
  • Transfer to a non stick baking tray or a tray lined with greasproof paper and bake for 15 minutes until just firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
I'm entering these into Tea Time Treat run by Karen (this month's host) and Kate where the theme this month is biscuit and cookies. I'm also entering this into Mrs M's recipe link party.



9 comments:

  1. Hi Jen, I too love shortbread. These look great. x

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  2. Agree shortbread is the best biscuit ever and far too easy to over indulge in. Yours look really pretty, though I don't really understand the need to add red food colouring to pralines.

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    1. I have no idea why they are so brightly coloured, they are pretty to look at though

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  3. These are so pretty! Do you know what type of nuts were in the pralines?

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    1. Yep, these were almond pralines

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  4. They look lovely, and it's a great idea for using up something you might otherwise not and turning it into something yummy! :) x

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  5. They look very good! Gotta try this very soon :-)

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  6. WOW! Jen, these shortbread biscuits are SO pretty! What a GREAT recipe and such pretty photos too! Thanks so much for entering them into Tea Time Treats! Karen

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  7. Wow! Looks very very tasty :) x

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