A classic shortbread biscuit is buttery and tender with a crumbly, melt in the mouth texture. It shouldn’t be soft or chewy like a cookie, but delicately crisp. The simplicity of the ingredients is what makes shortbread so good. The perfect sugar:butter:flour ratio is 1:2:3 and so you can easily work the recipe up or down to make a batch however large you like. The best way to get the right texture is to weigh the ingredients out carefully and not to overwork the dough. Here’s a handy little video which explains it all.
Let us know in the comments or over on our facebook group if you make the recipe. I’d love to see your photos. Liz x
Ingredients (makes 12)
- 100g caster sugar
- 200g butter (I use this vegan one)
- 300g plain flour (I love this spelt one for perfect biscuits and cakes)
- optional extras – lemon zest, more caster sugar to roll the cookies in…
Measure the sugar, butter and flour into a bowl. Add optional lemon zest – I used the gorgeous bergamot lemons we have in season now.
Using the tips of your fingers (so as not to make the dough too warm or melty) rub the flour and sugar into the butter.
When you reach a sort of wet-beach-sand-like texture, tip the mixture carefully onto a clean work surface.
Bring the dough together into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough as this can make it tough and chewy rather than tender and crisp. No kneading, just gently bring it together.
Then you need to wrap and chill the dough for at least half an hour. I like to roll the ball into a neat cylinder, the circular ends the size of the biscuits I want. Then wrap it in a sheet of baking parchment on which I’ll cook the biscuits later. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up the dough.
Then pre-heat the oven to 175C.
Unwrap the chilled shortbread dough onto a large baking sheet. If you wish, you can roll the cylinder of dough in some extra caster sugar (with added lemon zest or chopped rosemary, or crushed lavender flowers…) to create a sweet, crunchy ring around the biscuits.
Slice the dough into 12 round biscuits and bake them for 8 minutes or until just starting to take on some colour.
Allow the biscuits to completely cool and then store them in an airtight container. Eat within a week. I am loving them with a dollop of my kumquat curd but they are delicious plain too. And just perfect with a cup of Earl Grey tea.