I absolutely adore Parma Violets. They are probably my favourite sweet. I’ve had a big bag of them in my cupboard for a while waiting for me to bake with. I didn’t know what I wanted to make with them, but the other day I was craving a biscuit. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, I’m eating a Parma Violet Shortbread in the garden with a cup of tea.
These Parma Violet Shortbread Biscuits are as light as a feather. I smashed up the Parma Violets and added them into my shortbread mix, so there are tiny crunchy bits of Parma Violets throughout the biscuits. They’re really good, a little bit unusual but quite subtle. If there’s not enough Parma Violet in them, you can always add more to the mixture.
Parma Violet Shortbread Biscuits
80g caster sugar
50g Parma Violets, bashed up
330g plain flour
Caster sugar for sprinkling
Pre-heat your oven to 180. You’ll need to have a couple of baking trays covered with greaseproof paper ready.
Put your Parma Violets into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until it’s a mixture of fine powder and small fragments of violet flavoured rubble.
In a mixing bowl, thoroughly beat the butter and sugar together. Once fluffy, add the Parma Violets and little by little add the plain flour. Mix with a wooden spoon as best you can. Try not to overwork it too much or the dough will go gluey.
I find the following method tidier and it stops you manhandling the dough too much. Once the shortbread dough is mixed, tip it out onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper; bring the dough together with your hands and then fold the paper in half with the mixture sandwiched in between.
With a rolling-pin, roll it out so it’s about 5mm thick and cut into rounds. I used a glass for this and carefully lifted each shortbread biscuit onto the baking tray. You should get around 18 good-sized shortbread biscuits out of the dough. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over each round before baking.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the shortbread, they still need to be pale and not brown. Once they’re baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.
They’re as easy as that. Delicious with a cup of tea and as light as a feather too. A real treat for Parma Violet fans!