Chamomile and Strawberry Jam Shortbread

Chamomile and Strawberry Jam Shortbread

Bake these yummy shortbread and give as a gift at Christmas time. You can also use store-bought jam and mix up the flavours, try raspberry or marmalade.

Preparation: 8 hours Cooking time: 25 mins  Serves: 8

2 tablespoons loose leaf chamomile tea flowers
120g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Large pinch of salt
80g (⅔ cup) almond meal
1 egg
340g (2¼ cups) plain flour
Strawberry jam, to sandwich

1 Process the chamomile in a food processor until finely chopped. Pass through a coarse sieve and discard any large solids. Process the sieved chamomile and the sugar until well combined.

2 Use electric beaters to beat the sugar mixture, butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the almond meal and egg. Beat until combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until just combined. Gather the dough together and turn onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight to rest.

3 Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Roll out 1 portion of dough between two sheets of lightly floured baking paper until 4mm thick. Use a 7cm fluted cookie cutter to cut 8 rounds from the dough, rerolling scraps. Place on 1 prepared tray. Place tray in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.

4 Roll out the remaining portion of dough. Use a 7cm fluted cookie cutter to cut another 8 rounds, rerolling scraps. Use a 4cm flower shaped cutter to cut shapes in the centre of each round. Place the cut rounds on 1 prepared tray and flower shapes on the remaining tray. Place trays in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.

5 Bake the round biscuits, swapping the trays halfway through cooking, for 12-14 minutes or until light golden. Bake the little flower biscuits for 7-8 minutes or until light golden. Set aside on trays to cool completely.

6 Spread the whole round biscuits evenly with spoonfuls of jam. Dust the cut round biscuits with icing sugar. Sandwich together. Serve with the little flower biscuits.

Strawberry jam
Makes 500g

500g strawberries, hulled, quartered
450g golden caster sugar
1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced, seeds reserved
1½ tablespoons chamomile tea flowers

Place the strawberries, sugar and ¼ cup of lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Set aside for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, to soften fruit.

2 Place lemon rind, seeds and chamomile in a small piece of muslin. Twist to enclose. Tie with kitchen string to secure. Add to strawberry mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium. Bring to the boil. Boil for 12 minutes or until mixture reaches setting point (see note).

3 Cool for 8 minutes. Skim foam from the surface and discard. Spoon into a sterilised jar and seal.
Set aside to cool completely.

Photography: Strecker & Dahl Recipes and Styling: Katrina Woodman
Food preparation: Jo-Anne Woodman Art Direction and Styling: Anne Marie Cummins

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