After over a year of paternity leave I’m back in the squirrel wheel again.
November 9th was the first day at my new job as a Communications Officer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. I’m really proud to be part of an organization that focuses on education and research in the life sciences, sustainability and biological natural resources, and I’m so happy that I decided to take this step. I’ve had a few jobs during my career but coming into a new working environment is always a big change.
Yes, my existence actually stretches outside my kitchen. With a degree in Media and Communication Studies I’ve been working with marketing, communication and graphics design for the passed ten-eleven years (yikes!), primarily within the education sector. With my new job, I’m in a different situation, where I’m also able to develop my baking business to a more professional level, as I’m working part time. I have a lot of plans and ideas – some involving sweet and fudgy caramel by the way – and I’m so excited to see how things will unfold.
There is something I know for sure: Christmas is coming… and social media is flooded with sugar, butter and animal shaped gingerbread. As the proud baker I am, I can’t just sit and watch from the side line. So, I’m plunging head first and the first Christmas Sweet recipe this year is: Meringue Shortbread Cookies! Crumbly shortbread, chewy meringue with a nutty twist. Perfect to make when you have left over egg whites. Which is exactly the reason why I made them the other day. ‘Nuff said – go, bake, now.
Meringue Shortbread Cookies
Use preferably organic produce, or ingredients that you know have been produced in a good and healthy way.
100g / 3.5 oz. butter, not too cold
45g / 1.5 oz. raw sugar
150g / 5.2 oz. plain flour
(a splash of water)
80g / 2.8 oz (2) egg whites
90g / 3.1 oz. sugar
a handful of chopped hazelnut or almonds
- Make the dough by whipping butter and raw sugar light and fluffy. Add the flour and pinch of salt and form quickly into a dough. If you feel its a little bit too dry, add a couple of drops of water until it form easily into a ball.
- Divide the dough in two pieces. On a parchment covered baking tray, roll the ball into a long log and then flatten it by pressing your fingers onto the surface. Bake in 200 C/392 F for 10–15 minutes until golden.
- Place the egg whites in a clean bowl (whipe the bowl with some lemon juice or a drop of vinegar to make sure there is no fat on the surface, this will prevent the egg whites from foaming). Starting of on low, whip the egg whites until foamy, increasing the speed as you go. Add the raw sugar a little at a time. When all sugar has been added, keep on whipping until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.
- With a spatula, spread the meringue on top of each shortbread. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts or almonds on top of the meringue. Bake in 150 C/302 F for 10–15 minutes. Let the shortbread cool for a couple of minutes before cutting each log into diagonal slices.