Thursday, 2 February 2017

'Loveheart' Styled Shortbread Biscuits

These delicious homemade shortbread biscuits, flavoured with lemon zest, are a lot of fun & would make a lovely gift for that special someone on Valentine's Day!
Perfect for Valentine's Day, Loveheart Styled Shortbread Biscuits

Allow me to share a secret with you.  It's not a massive secret, just something that you probably don't know.

It was early in 2004, a leap year you may note, and having dated Mr E for several months I knew he was 'the one'!  A few weeks earlier I'd enjoyed a few 'loveheart' sweets, you know the ones with the cute little messages on them.  Anyway I noticed that some of the phrases had been updated from how I recalled them as a child.   Now there were phrases like 'Marry Me', and 'Say Yes'!  My mind started to work and a few weeks later on, 29th February, a leap year day, with the help of a few hand selected 'Lovehearts' I plucked up the courage and popped the question to him!  The rest, as they say, is history! 😊

Shortbread biscuit recipe with lemon zest

Anyway, in deciding which recipes to share running up to Valentine's Day, Mr E came up with the idea of some simple biscuits with writing on them, 'Loveheart' style.  What a great idea.  Not only did it hark back to those lovely little sweets and the progression in our relationship, but it also prompted me to share a biscuit recipe, something which is a little lacking here on Only Crumbs Remain.

Wanting to keep things simple, we went with a shortbread biscuit recipe.  Buttery, short, crumbly and undoubtedly classic.  I have an awful lot of fondness for shortbread, whether they're presented as a round, finger or petticoat tail they're a welcome treat with an afternoon pot of tea!  And although shop bought ones are pretty good, you definitely can't beat a homemade batch.

Shortbread biscuit recipe with lemon zest, decorated for Valentine's Day

This particular shortbread recipe is made with the classic 1-2-3 ratio, one of sugar, two of butter and three of flour (including the cornflour which brings an extra lightness to the bake).  It also includes some lemon zest, which punctuates the buttery richness beautifully.  And although I've decorated them making them suitable for a Valentine Day gift, these biscuits would be just as delicious undecorated too.

Delicious homemade shortbread, flavoured with lemon zest

Of course, though, a plain shortbread biscuit wouldn't be as much fun as ones decorated with words or short phrases.  Think of 'I Love You', 'Love Bug', and 'Cutie',  but of course you could use something far more specific or personal. 

Normally speaking icing like this is coloured with pastes which can be bought from supermarkets and cake product suppliers.  However the reds and pinks supplied by our local supermarket contained animal products and therefore definitely weren't suitable for our vegetarian home.  So having gone home with our weekly shop I started to think about popping out to the cake decorating suppliers, but whilst putting the shopping away the raspberry jam sat in the fridge caught my eye.  I wondered if I could use jam in my icing.  The principal had worked in our Cherry & Almond Cupcakes a few days previous, so why not in a royal icing?!  Happily the seedless raspberry jam worked a treat.  By using a little more jam in one mixture than the other it allowed me to create two different shades of pink which undoubtedly brought more interest to our Loveheart Styled Shortbread Biscuits, and happily kept them vegetarian friendly.

Delicious homemade shortbread recipe, flavoured with lemon zest

So, let's get to it and bake 'Loveheart' styled Shortbread Biscuits!

print recipe

Loveheart Style Shortbread Biscuits
These delicious homemade shortbread biscuits, flavoured with lemon zest, are a lot of fun and would make a lovely gift for that special someone on Valentine's Day!

Hands on time: Cook time:      Yield: 5

Essential Equipment
    Baking Tray
    Plain Round Biscuit Cutter, ours measured 78mm diameter
    2 Icing Bags
    Piping Nozzle, suitable for writing 

For the Shortbread Biscuits
  • 110g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 55g Caster Sugar, (we used golden caster sugar)
  • 1 Lemon, Zest of, finely grated
  • 110g Plain Flour
  • 55g Cornflour
  • Pinch of Salt
For the Icing
  • 50g + 50g Royal Icing Sugar
  • 1-2 tsp Seeedless Raspberry Jam
For the Decoration
  •   Mini Sugar Blossom Flowers (we used these from Sainsburys)

1. Prepare a baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, tacking down the corners with a little butter or margarine.2. Make the shortbread dough. Place the butter and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until soft and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and beat again until well combined. Sieve the flour, corn flour and salt into the mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix together. Once well combined use your hand to bring the dough together. Avoid over mixing and handling. 3. Roll out the dough. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. You're aiming for it to be about 1cm thick. 4. Cut out the biscuits. Use a plain round biscuit cutter to cut the biscuit shapes. Gently place the shortbread biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet. Gather together the dough offcuts and re-roll once only. Cut out more biscuits.5. Chill. Place the baking sheet into the fridge for about 30 minutes. 6. Preheat the oven to 170c/ 160 Fan/ 325F / Gas 3.7. Bake. Place the baking tray into the centre of the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until the biscuits are turning slightly golden brown around the edge. Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling. 8. Make the two icings. Place the two quantities of royal icing sugars into separate bowls. Add a half teaspoon of jam to one bowl and a full teaspoon to the second bowl.  Add a teaspoon of water to each bowl.   Gently mix together, adding drips of water until they are a thick consistency that will pipe as writing. Mix well. Place the two pink icings into icing bags fitted with a plain nozzle suitable for writing with. 9. Decorate. Pipe a heart onto the cooled biscuits. Use the second pink colour to write a short word or phrase in the centre of the heart. Pipe a little of the icing onto the back of the sugar flowers and affix them onto the shortbread biscuit. Set aside to allow the icing to firm up.10. Enjoy!
a)  Use the best quality butter you can afford, as shortbreads contain a high percentage of butter it's worthwhile buying a good tasting one.  b) Increase the batch size by using the 1-2-3 ratio (1 of sugar, 2 of butter, 3 of flour including the cornflour)  c)  Consider making the shortbread biscuits larger to hold more writing, though these will take longer to cook, perhaps around 30 - 35 minutes.  Keep an eye on them whilst they bake. d) If planning to stack the biscuits and tie with a ribbon, ensure the icing is completely set first.

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Homemade shortbread, decorated for Valentine's Day!

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This post has been shared with:

Bake of the Week co-hosted by Helen at Casa Costello and Jenny at Mummy Mishaps

 Treat Petite co-hosted by Kat at The Baking Explorer and Stuart at CakeyBoi (this month with Kat)

Inheritance Recipes, co-hosted bySolange at  Pebble Soup and Margot at Coffee & Vanilla 

Hijacked By Twins Link up your recipe of the week


  1. Wow - what a fab story! And such cute biscuits - perfect for Valentine's day :-) Eb x

    1. Aw thankyou Eb :-) I had a lot of fun thinking of what words and phrases to include on them.
      Angela x

  2. They look so cute! I love the decorations too, they are beautiful. x

  3. Love your "secret" how very romantic. You should make these cute biscuits every year on your wedding aniversary from now on

    1. Ooh what a good idea Jacqueline, why on earth didn't I think of that! I'm more than sure Mr E would like that :-)
      Angela x

  4. so brave, I could never do that. Thank you so much for linking up to the #Inheritancerecipes

    1. Thinking back it does seem very brave - but thankfully he said yes!
      Angela x

  5. these are adorable Angela - so pretty and perfect for Valentines day or a gift for any special person . I am rubbish at making biscuits so I always have biscuit envy when I see other people show off their biscuit wares. Thank you for linking up to #BakeoftheWeek x

    1. Aw thankyou Jenny, I'm sure you're doing yourself a diservice there as I do recall you made some for GBBO bake along and they looked fab!
      No thankyou for hosting :-)
      Angela x

  6. These are so cute, and I love that you used jam in the icing instead of the carmine or cochineal-based stuff. It makes such lovely pinks too. Also, those little flowers - adorable!

    So cool that you proposed to your beloved... even cooler that he said yes! xx

    1. Thankyou Nico, i was really pleased i managed to get some nice pink colours using the jam - so much nicer than putting all of that horrible carmine and cochineal stuff in it!
      I was so happy when he said yes Nico!
      Angela x

  7. Oh my life these look amazing! the ribbon definately finishes them off! might try these if i get a moment! #Brilliantblogposts

    1. The ribbon does finish them off doesn't it if they're being given as a gift. I hope you like them as much as we did if you get chance :-)
      Angela x

  8. Such adorable biscuits! They really are so pretty, thank you for linking up to #TreatPetite

    1. Thank you Kat :-) and you're more than welcome it's a great linky :-)
      Angela x

  9. This is such a romantic story Angela! Thank you for sharing with #InheritanceRecipes :) Those cookies would be perfect not only for Valentine's but also anniversaries.


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