If you fancy a change from the usual mince pies this Christmas, you could do worse than make these. The use of shortbread rather than pastry is delicious and these are perfect with cup of tea.
They’re also much easier to transport in tubs if your job is to bring the mince pies to a Christmas gathering. The suggestion is that you cut these into 16 squares, but I also like the idea that you can just cut a massive wedge out of it and if anyone asks you can still say you’ve only had one mince pie.
I’ve halved the sugar in the shortbread from the original recipe, because mincemeat is sweet enough and it allows the spices to shine through. I also didn’t sprinkle sugar on top, but if you want these to look more festive a light dusting of icing sugar would look great.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, 1 tsp of the cinnamon and the cloves together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Stir in the flour and ground rice first with a spoon, then get your hands in and knead to a smooth dough.
Halve the dough and press one half evenly into the base of the tin. Spread the mincemeat over the top, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Roll out the remaining dough between 2 sheets of baking parchment to a 20cm square, then slide onto the mincemeat. Seal around the edge with your fingers gently press all over until dimpled, then prick all over the top with a fork.
Bake for 25-30 mins until lightly golden. Cool in the tin before cutting into squares.