Valentines day shortbread

Photographer: Emma
makes approx 20 biscuits

Happy Valentine’s Day readers!  Each year, February 14th creates its fair share of controversy; there are the believers and the non-believers and there are the gift receivers and the non-receivers.  I can understand those that don’t agree with this tradition, those that make the stand that every day should be a day to show your love and that this celebration is just a promotion for greeting cards companies and florists.  But I am also of the opinion that this day is really about celebrating love and taking a moment to show someone you love them, and it doesn’t have to be gimmicky at all.

You don’t have to buy roses which have—over the course of two days—tripled in price.  You can pick flowers from your garden or buy a cheaper bunch of flowers (although not carnations). You don’t have to take your partner to an expensive restaurant—his/her favourite home-cooked meal can be just as nice. You don’t have to buy a cheesy greeting card and write an awkward message, make a card or just say what you would write.

I am suggesting a more low-key, creative or thoughtful approach.  These heart-shaped shortbreads are an example.  Nothing says ‘be mine’ more than making deliciously buttery biscuits with chocolate icing.  Plan a picnic.  Make a playlist.  Cook a nice meal.  The possibilities are endless.

In saying all this, I wouldn’t reject my boyfriend if he turned up on my doorstep with two dozen roses, a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a dinner booking at the French Café!


230g unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup + 1 tsp cornflour
200g dark chocolate for icing


1. Cream butter and sugar together until white and fluffy and looks like whipped cream.
2. Sieve the flour and cornflour together and add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix until well combined.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the mixture until it forms a smooth dough. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 140ºC on Bake.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an approximate thickness of 1¼ cm (1/2 inch). Use cutters to create your desired shapes or simply cut into squares with a sharp knife.
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until just starting to colour slightly. The shortbread should not be brown at all.
7. Once cool, melt the dark chocolate and dip the shortbread biscuits. Let the chocolate set by laying the biscuits on greaseproof baking paper.
8. Share them with people you love.