It's that time of year again, time for spending what we can afford on gifts for friends, family and loved ones. Homemade gifts abound, as do decorations, rhubarb and elderberry fizz, ginger beer, cakes, shortbread and, for us here in Scotland, the traditional 'clootie dumpling'. For anyone who missed last year's copy, here are the basic recipes I use.
Scottish Shortbread Biscuits
2oz / 50g sugar
4oz / 100g butter (or margarine)
6oz / 150g plain flour (I used 5 plain flour and 1 cornflour)
Mix the butter, sugar and flour.
Place the resulting dough in the fridge for half an hour before rolling and cutting
Bake on a floured tray for approximately 25 minutes at 170C
Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar and cool on a wire rack.
3 large handfuls of raisins (or sultanas or dried fruit)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon ginger
Mix all of the above dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add