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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Vanilla Shortbread Make Ahead

    Hello! I would like to try making edible gift baskets for Christmas this year, so I was wondering if I could make the Vanilla Shortbread in advance. If possible I would prefer to make the shortbreads up to 2 months in advance and freeze them. Will this be OK? Thank you!

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Vanilla Shortbread (from Forever Summer and on the Nigella Website) is a nice choice for a Christmas hamper, or a gift bakset for another occasion. The shortbreads should freeze quite well but bear in mind that they can be a little delicate.

    Once the shortbreads have been baked and are fully cooled and cut up then put the cookies into rigid airtight containers. If you stack the shortbreads we suggest that you put a layer of baking parchment (parchment paper) or foil between each layer of cookies. The shortbread will freeze for up to 3 months.

    To thaw the shortbreads remove the containers from the freezer, carefully place the shortbreads on wire racks and let them stand at room temperature for about an hour before wrapping them into packaging for the hampers. The defrosted shortbreads are best stored in an airtight container and should keep for around 5 days.

    We would mention that once the shortbreads have been frozen and thawed then they should not be frozen again, so you may need to warn the lucky recipients of this.

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