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Chai Shortbread

IMG_9933When I was sixteen-years-old, on another trip to the movies with my dad and brother, I went into 2 Fast 2 Furious while the boys went to watch Legally Blond 2.

Yes, the one third of us went to a manly movie and it so happened to be me, the girl.

I loved the original movie, watching guys race cars. How could I not love that original movie? In fact, it still rates in my top ten. Maybe it’s the fourteen-year-old girl in me or maybe it’s because it really is a movie worth being up there.

On Sunday morning upon turning my iPad on I was stunned and shocked, like so many others, to see the words ‘Paul Walker has died, age 40.’

It has churned through me for days. I’ve actively read and avoided all at the same time. Maybe it was because Paul Walker seemed like a mix between my dad and my cousin: active, cool, always smiling – genuine. He seemed genuine and like someone I grew up knowing, without the awful dad jokes my father churns out on a daily basis.

He was real in an industry known for good lookers who go from movie to movie without the feeling like that’s who they really are.

I remember going to see ‘Into the Blue’ two years later, this time with my dad, and I recall feeling that this was something he loved doing as much as he played a character.

I know this post will add to the chatter, but really, Paul Walker was special. He gave me a sense of stability amongst the music artists I so relied on to get me through those teen years and reminded me that despite a lot of things changing in my life I would always have a link to surfers with a streak of authentic.

Hollywood deaths happen, like everywhere, except we know their names and some of their stories – but his is one I could never imagine ever happening so soon.

This month will be filled with recipes to make and give away or keep for yourself. The best gifts come from giving your time and creating something shows a personal touch so today’s recipe is Chai Shortbread that I doubled specifically to gift.

Chai Shortbread
Adapted from Donna Hay Dec-Jan 2012 issue
Makes 36

Ingredients:
300g butter, softened
2/3 cup icing/confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
2 heaped teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

Directions:
Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 8-10 minutes when it is pale and creamy. Add in the spices and stir through until combined.

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Add the sifted flours and beat until well combined and a smooth dough.

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Half the dough and knead both into a rectangular shape.

Roll each dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to a thickness of 5mm/0.20in and refrigerate until firm.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F and slice the shortbread into rectangular cookies. Bake until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on wire racks.

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Warp and gift or serve as is.

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Note: Due to the amount of dough, it’s best to return the shortbread dough to the fridge to ensure they stay firm prior to baking.

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