These soft, German-style cookies are extremely delicate and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture thanks to the addition of potato starch. You can replace this with plain flour, but this will result in a more ordinary shortbread, rather than the special texture of these cookies.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 12 minutes
125g salted butter, at room temperature, cubed
40g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
125g potato starch
80g plain flour
A few drops of orange gel food dye
Black sesame seeds
Handful of parsley or dill
Add the butter and icing sugar to a mixing bowl. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix again until combined. Sift in the potato starch and plain flour, and then use a spatula to mix to a paste but avoid overmixing. Combine into a ball using your hands.
Add a little orange food dye to colour and gently knead it in. You can also divide the dough into different bowls and add slightly different shades to create different coloured carrots.
Shape portions of the dough into carrot shapes about the length and thickness of your index finger, tapering them to a point (though it’s fun to vary the size of your carrots). Try to handle the dough lightly, and as little as possible. This will help stop the dough sticking to your hands, plus the less you handle the dough, the more the biscuits will crumble and melt in your mouth.
Place the shaped carrots onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Use a knife to create indents so that they look more like carrots. Create an indent for the mouth, and add sesame seeds to represent the eyes. You can arrange them in different ways so that they all look unique.
Poke a hole in the top of each carrot using a toothpick (this is to help the parsley or dill go in later). Chill for 15-30 minutes in the fridge.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/Gas 4.
Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes. They will expand very slightly but will hold their shape well. Transfer to a rack and leave to cool. Once cool, add a little sprig of parsley or dill to the top.
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