Buttery, delicious and impossibly moreish… Traditional shortbread has just 3 humble ingredients; Butter, sugar and flour. Yum!
What could be simpler? And yet there is a myriad of shortbread recipes available, with countless combinations of ingredients, and methods involved. After sampling many recipes over the years, including the tasting (someone has to do it!), I found the tried and true ‘1 part castor sugar, 2 parts butter, 3 parts flour’ will always deliver a shortbread just like Nanna used to make.
This formula can be used with any weight of the 3 ingredients, providing the ratio always stays the same. Eg. 60g castor sugar, 120g butter, and 180g plain flour.
Once you decide on the ingredient amounts, you’re good to go!
Put the room temperature, or softened butter and caster sugar into a bowl, and cream together till light and fluffy.
Sift the flour into the butter and sugar mixture, and mix till just combined. If you’re using an electric mixer, a low speed will do the trick. I always mix the last of the flour in by hand.
Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and bring together by hand till you have a soft smooth dough.
You have a couple of options here:
1. Wrap the disc of dough and chill for 30 mins in the fridge. After it is chilled, roll the dough between 2 pieces of baking paper to around 1cm thick. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then cut into shapes with a knife or cookie cutter. Place onto trays lined with baking paper, and bake for about 20 mins in a preheated 170C oven, or until just starting to brown. Sprinkle with some extra sugar, and remove from trays onto cooling racks after 5mins.
2. Alternatively, roll the dough into a log (about 4 to 5cm diameter), wrap in plastic wrap or baking paper and chill for 30 mins. Then slice into 1cm biscuits and place onto lined baking trays. Prick with a fork, and follow the same baking directions as the above option.
The great thing about shortbread is, as delicious as it is plain, it also works extremely well with added flavours and texture. You can always add some vanilla extract, lemon, orange or lime zest, choc chips, lavender, chopped nuts, cranberries etc.
You can also play around with the texture, by swapping out some of the plain flour with some rice flour for added crunch, or some cornflour for that ‘melt in the mouth’ feel.
If all else fails and the urge to bake hasn’t struck, head over to our shop, and check out some of the delicious treats on offer.
All this talk of shortbread has me thinking of a new flavour for March…
Any guesses as to what it may be??
Comment below with your guess ? (Your first hint … It’s a fruit flavour)