Festive Treats

Posted on December 17th, 2013

Homemade biscuits are a wonderful way to give a heartfelt gift to someone special, whether it’s a caregiver, a playschool teacher or a family friend. Here are some South African favourites. By Noeleen Foster and Oumi Foster

By Noeleen Foster and Oumi Foster

Easiest short-bread ever

*Makes 30

Ingredients

  • 500g butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ cup corn starch (Maizena)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Grease a 20 x 30cm baking tray.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  4. Sift in 4 cups of flour and corn starch to mix.
  5. If your dough is too soft add in an extra ½ cup of flour.
  6. Gently press your dough into the tray and bake for approximately 45min.
  7. Cut into blocks when still warm and lightly sprinkle with some castor sugar.

Rose and berry jam

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh rose petals (pink or red will do, make sure to wash and use roses that have not been sprayed with pesticides)
  • 500g mixed berries (or whatever is in season)
  • 1kg castor sugar
  • Juice of 2 fresh lemons (helps to make the pectin for the jam)
  • 1 cup water

Method

  1. Gently bruise/crush the rose petals with your hands, then place them in a wide plastic container and sprinkle with a little castor sugar.
  2. Cover with cling film and let them stand for 2-3 hours.
  3. Boil water, berries and sugar together. Once boiled, add the juice of 2 lemons (remember to take out the pips) and boil again.
  4. Now add in your rose petals.
  5. Let your jam boil for another 2-3 hours until it is ready.
  6. To check that your jam is ready, scoop a little out with a teaspoon. Let it cool and if it sets to a jelly-like state then it’s ready. If not, boil for a little longer.