Monday, May 23, 2016

Quick and Easy Almond Shortbread (Anneka Manning) - Highly Recommended!

After baking and munching these almond shortbread, I know that I have to be straightforward!

Straightforward to tell you that I LOVE this recipe and this book!!!

quick easy almond shortbread Anneka Manning
Quick and Easy Almond Shortbread by Anneka Manning

Yes! I would highly recommend this book if you love baking. And whether you are an experienced or a learning baker, I'm pretty sure that you will appreciate the reproducibility of its recipes and will enjoy all the yummy food that you have baked from the book!

Although this book explains basic techniques and many knowledge about baking which are familiar to me, I still find this book very informative and also helpful to confirm that I'm doing the right thing for my baking.

Bake Class by Anneka Manning.
And I love this book!!!

I can't wait to tell you how much I love this book!

"Baking is love made edible"

Bake Class is for any home bakers like me and probably you who wish to optimise our baking ability regardless of our baking skill level. This must-have book contains more than 90 sweet and savoury baking recipes that are well classified according to ten most common mixing methods for successful baking.

In this book, the recipes are classified according to 10 most common methods.

Bake Class makes me feel like a baking expert is baking with me whenever I bake its recipes. With every lesson being so well illustrated with step-by-step photography and concise instructions, the book has built my knowledge progressively and has given more confidence in baking.

Knowing the baking principles well enough, I like to show you how I baked these quick easy crispy yummy almond shortbread. Although it is a recipe from lesson 4, mixing with a food processor method, I have managed to mix this shortbread dough even without the use of a food processor.

"The significant common element of recipes that uses this method is they don't require extra air to be added to the mixture through beating or whisking, so they can easily be blended with the sharp cutting action of the blade of a food processor."

After reading this paragraph and other descriptions from this book, this is what I did to bake 24 shortbread.

Instead of placing all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 min or until the mixture starts to form a dough, I combined:

55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
75g (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
15g (1/8 cup) corn flour
35g (1/3 cup) almond meal
in a large mixing dish and added 75g (5 tbsp) cold cubed unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or extract) into the flour mixture.

Why didn't I use a processor? Based on the description of this recipe, I'm pretty sure that these cookies can be made by hand with least handling and I'm right! Plus, no processor means less washing for me. ke ke!

The sugar, flour, cornflour and almond meal mixture.
Add butter and vanilla paste.
Imagine that my hands are a food processor blade - LOL! ... cutting the butter into the flour mixture.
It is important not to over mix.
Place dough on a piece of baking paper.
Shape it into a long sausage. Mine is a little squarish and it is about 4 cm (diameter) and 15 cm long.
Wrap with baking paper and place in the fridge (but I did mine in freezer) for at least 1 hr or until ready to bake.

Ready to bake? Preheat the oven at 160°C or 140°C fan forced. Line baking tray with baking paper. Unwrap the dough and slice into 1 cm thick rounds.

Arrange the cut dough on the baking tray with about 2 cm apart. The original recipe says that I can sprinkle each cut dough with a little extra caster sugar but I didn't do this because I reckon that the shortbread are sweet enough. Having said that, I would strongly suggest not to cut back the amount of sugar added as it will affect the overall texture. Bake for 35 mins or until shortbread is pale golden.

Leave the shortbread to cool slightly on the tray for about 10 mins and transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
quick easy almond shortbread Anneka Manning
So yummy!
These crispy shortbread are extra nice with its slightly puffy structure.

Store these shortbread in air tight container or jar for up to 2 weeks.

The original recipe contains double of the ingredients (meaning with 150g, 1 cup all purpose flour) and says that it makes about 30 shortbread but using half the original amount, I could make 24 shortbread! Hmmm...

'... I guarantee this book will become a classic' - Stephanie Alexander.

'You'd be hard pressed to find a more passionate baker than Anneka... Filled with marvellously diverse, indulgent yet reliable recipes and lots of useful tips, this book provides a great insight into baking' - Matt Moran

I guess that I'm not the only one who loves this book when I saw these comments at the back cover of this book.

I can definitely see why Stephanie Alexander says that this book will become a classic. Well, see these...

The Classic Sponge from Lesson 9, the whisking eggs and sugar method
Always a classic... Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies from Lesson 5, the creaming method
One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes from Lesson 2, the measure and beat method
Love this good old fashioned Lemon Delicious Pudding from Lesson, 7 the whisking egg whites method

Want to see more? I have to show you more of this marvelous book in my subsequent post and so stay tune.

If you love this book as much as I do and want it now - LOL!, you may wish to know that it is available in most retail or online book shops selling at the retail price of AUD$45.

As this post is specially written to review this book, I'm sorry that I have agreed to the publisher that I can't publish the recipes in this book in this post. However, if you really wish to make these super easy shortbread, please read my post in details, you will see that you can actually do it without a written recipe as I have fully illustrated the process very thoroughly to you. *Hint*

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.

Happy Baking
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  1. I never get bored of books about baking... I have lost count of how many I have! This sounds like a very interesting book.. and the shortbread is delicious!

  2. You don't have to convince me much to try these! Great treat with a cup of coffee!

  3. Ooooh that looks like a beautiful books. I still love purchasing cook books rather than the ebook veraions.

  4. Shortbread is such good stuff, isn't it? Good recipe. Good book, too -- sounds really informative. Thanks for the intro to it!

  5. Hi Zoe, I love shortbread and yours look yummy! I've posted my bundt cake recipe for bake along for the 5th anniversary. Definitely going to miss this event as it is the last bake.