There is no real motivation for today’s blog post other than I love shortbread, whether it be bought or homemade. Shortbread can be prepared in many ways with many different types of flour but today I am focusing on the classic shortbread biscuit (cookie). For years I only made shortbread in a tin where it was cut into fingers or triangles. It was really easy as there was no rolling out or cutting out shapes. Instead the crumbly mixture was pressed into the tin and baked.
The shortbread biscuit is so versatile in that it can be cut to any shape and flavoured with many ingredients, but today’s post is all my the classic shortbread taste using real butter. That is all the flavour you need.
A classic shortbread uses three ingredients of flour, sugar and butter in the ratio of 3:2:1. However the addition of semolina will give a crumblier texture to the biscuit and the addition of cornflour will give a lightness and melt in the mouth texture.
My husband is recently back from a week-long trip to the Glastonbury festival and out of guilt or love (probably both) he brought be back a wee gift in the form of headphones so music can keep me company as I pound the streets in an effort to shape up and a beautiful tin of shortbread. He says he would have bought the tin alone as he knows how much I love the art deco period. I knew the shortbread would be good as it only had 4 ingredients, less is more.
Due to the high ratio of sugar to the other ingredients it is very easy for the sugar to ‘catch’ and the shortbread to burn giving a very bitter taste. I have learnt that is should be baked low and slow so it stays pale and golden but becomes crisp and light.
These are ideal with a cup of tea or coffee and the smaller you make them, the more you can of them, Right?
My recipe uses cornflour as I adore that lighter than light taste and texture.
4 oz (100g) Caster sugar
10 oz (250g) Butter (room temperature)
10 oz (250g) Plain flour
5 oz (125g) Cornflour
Line a biscuit tin or sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well until combined.
Sieve the plain flour and cornflour into the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
Roll the dough/mixture out until 0.5cm thick. Using you cutter of choice cut out individual biscuits and place on the lined tin.
Place tin the fridge for 15 minutes while oven is heated to 150C.
Place the chilled biscuits in the oven and cook for 35 minutes unitl pale and golden.
Gently place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool. They are very delicate so be careful.
Sprinkle with castor sugar while still warm.
I’m just sitting down now to a cup of cocoa and shortbread biscuit and I can’t wait. How will you enjoy yours? Until next time……..
What I’m listening to this week: Future Islands new album “The Far field”. Absolutely love it.