Orange shortbread and a pinch and a punch

Orange shortbread

Orange shortbread

Do you pinch and a punch for the first of the month? In our house it’s a serious competition that has me bitterly awaiting the first day of every month. I am always the first one out of bed in the morning because I get up and head out for a walk. That means that I’m also the first to realise that it’s the first of the month but I can’t do anything about it until Will is awake.

He gets me every. single. time. It’s so unfair. This morning I even tried a decoy walking in with a big handful of mint to show him after its haircut but no, his quick and nimble moves meant another win for him. Even mum got me via text message (which is allowed if we’re not seeing each other on the day).

Orange shortbread

Orange shortbread

Next month I will not be beaten. I will set up camp waiting for him to arise and I will get him mark my words. Not that its a competition, but at least I beat him when it comes to baking and that’s a win I’m happy to accept. Last week I found yet another recipe on the back of a packet, this time orange shortbread on the bag of flour. I’ve had it saved for weeks ready to try and on Friday afternoon, instead of doing the mountain of work I had to do, I baked. It seems I use baking as a form of procrastination and avoidance (at least it has a delicious outcome).

If you don’t want to use the mixer, I think these would work just throwing all the ingredients in the food processor and blitzing it up until it forms a dough.

Orange shortbread

Orange shortbread

Rolling out and shaping the dough, it was really soft so I did doubt that these would turn out. I totally expected to open the oven to one giant melted mess but instead I was met by these gorgeous little medallions of zesty biscuits. They were a little firmer than the soft, buttery shortbread that I’ve made in the past but they still held that crumbly consistency that begins to melt when it hits your tongue.

Orange shortbread

Orange shortbread

They held their shape perfectly in the oven and the orange zest added a nice flavour surprise. They would be just as delicious with lemon or lime I think and maybe even a combination of two if you’re feeling really adventurous.

Whichever citrus you choose I’m sure you’re going to like them. Enjoy!

What about you? What do you do while procrastinating?

Orange shortbread

Orange shortbread


Orange shortbread
Serves: about 30 biscuits
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp orange rind, grated (the zest of two oranges)
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • icing sugar for dusting
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the orange rind and beat it through.
  4. Slowly add the flour and mix until it all comes together to form a dough.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and roll it out to about 1cm thick.
  6. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes of dough and transfer them to the baking tray (you don't need much room between them - 2cm maximum).
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
  8. Leave the biscuits on the tray for 5 minutes to set and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Dust with icing sugar to serve.


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  1. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Scott and I were eating a couple chocolate chip shortbread cookies tonight. I said to him “what in the world makes shortbread SO stinking good?” He didn’t blink and said “BUTTER”. I’m afraid he’s right. Yours look amazing Claire. I’m afraid with that orange zest I wouldn’t be able to resist. Sometimes I put them in the freezer, thinking it will be harder to be tempted, NOPE – 30 seconds in the microwave is all it takes :) I’m hopeless! :)

    • He is so very wise that husband of yours. Ooh I love the though of taking one out of the freezer whenever you like Chris. I freeze the dough so I have to bake them if I want some wich restricts me a little at least.

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Hehe you know I’ve haven’t thought about a pinch and a punch for years! Which means that I’ll be the first when I say it! ;)

  3. Glamorous Glutton says:

    How funny, we do the pinch punch thing too. Mr Glam was walking the Glam Pooch this morning and I phoned him to get in my pinch punch first. I have to admit I’m rarely first. These orange shortbread look delicious and I bet really light. I love the flavour of orange in baking. GG

  4. Emilie@TheCleverCarrot says:

    Look at that gorgeous flakiness Claire! These look so yummy. My mother-in-law has a similar recipe for shortbreads (minus the zest) and they are a huge hit! I bet yours went real fast ;) Have a great weekend!

  5. Hotly Spiced says:

    The new rule from here on in should be you can pinch and punch someone while they’re asleep – you’d win every time. Your shortbread is very pretty xx

  6. The Life of Clare says:

    These look wonderful! I’ve been meaning to bake some sort of biscuit for ages. We don’t do pinch and punch at home because I get enough of that working in primary schools, but it’s very much in the forefront of my mind on the 1st.

  7. These look delicious! Beautiful pictures too. I have never heard of a pinch and a punch, so funny!

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