2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) semolina
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (70 grams) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
14 ounces (400 grams) (1 1/3 cup) good quality mincemeat (homemade or store bought)
Mincemeat Shortbread Bars: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the wire oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan. Set aside.
Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour, semolina, and the salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
Evenly press two-thirds of the shortbread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the mincemeat over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch border.
With the remaining shortbread dough, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the mincemeat. Then lightly press the dough into the mincemeat.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan.
Makes about 16 bars.
Shortbread and Mincemeat are two British specialties that go wonderfully together. It wasn't until I saw this Mincemeat Shortbread recipe in Sue Lawrence's On Baking cookbook that I ever thought to combine these two delicacies. The buttery flavor and crumbly texture of shortbread can easily stand alone but combining it with a spicy rich mincemeat makes for a tasty square. You can use either homemade or store bought mincemeat. If you decide to use store bought mincemeat, you can improve its flavor by adding a splash of brandy and some freshly grated apple.
Mincemeat is a spicy preserve consisting of a mixture of dried and candied fruits, apples, and spices (with or without beef suet) that is heavily laced with brandy or rum. Originally, though, it was made with meat (hence the name), eggs, dried fruits and spices, but over time beef suet (kidney fat) came to replace the meat and the eggs were dropped completely from the recipe. I encourage you to try the recipe on the site for Homemade Mincemeat as it is easy to make and its flavor is superior to store bought. The mincemeat recipe also makes about 6 cups, so you make these squares and have plenty leftover to make Mince Pies.
These shortbread are very nice when served warm from the oven with a dollop of whipped cream or creme fraiche.