Buttery and crisp shortbread biscuits. Delicious dunked into caramel and melted chocolate or crumbled over ice cream. Made with only three ingredients, these scrumptious biscuits will just melt-in-your-mouth!
Homemade shortbread is a Christmas necessity. I look forward to Christmastime all year round, it’s my favourite time of the year because you can go overboard decorating the Christmas tree and entire house, spend quality time catching up with family and importantly, eat as many biscuits, chocolate, cheese, crackers, canapés and sweets as you want. Just thinking about all that food is making me quite hungry…
The best part of Christmas is definitely the several boxes of shortbread and chocolate-coated biscuits we get to eat our way through and enjoy. I’ll admit it, I have no self-control when it comes to shortbread biscuits or any kind of biscuit for that matter. My maternal grandma is half Scottish and her dad’s side of the family came from Dunblane, I’m sure my love of making (and eating!) shortbread is highly influenced by my Scottish roots.
Shortbread for me is something truly magical. It requires only three ingredients and those few ingredients are quite easily assessable, meaning that if you suddenly remembered you’ve forgotten to get a present for someone (we’ve all been there) or plans change at the last-minute and you have unexpected guests, don’t panic as you can whip up a batch of these shortbread biscuits in no time at all with little notice and you won’t need to make a mad rush to the supermarket either!
These shortbread biscuits can be packaged up in bags or biscuit tins and given away to your family members and friends as an edible gift. Saying that, you probably won’t want to give any of these away, you’re likely to want to hide these somewhere only you know about!
Shortbread biscuits are a great way of getting kids involved with baking. They can prepare the dough by hand, then roll out it and stamp out different shaped biscuits with cutters. I picked a star-shaped cutter for this batch of shortbread biscuits because I love the way they look and you can always buy shortbread rounds, I like that these star-shaped ones are just a little bit different and they have an extra special festive touch.
Bake these shortbread biscuits and as you wait for them to cool, pop the kettle on and grab a cuppa. Decorate each biscuit with a light dusting of icing sugar. Your ticket to buttery, crumbly shortbread heaven is right here with this recipe.
250g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
450g plain flour
- Cream the softened butter for a minute or two until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar and flour. Using your fingertips, combine the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Press the mixture together until a soft, yet slightly crumbly dough forms.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrap each piece of dough in clingfilm. Allow the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days). See recipe notes below for instructions on chilling longer than 2 hours.
- Roll each piece of dough out in between two pieces of parchment paper until it’s approx. 5mm/0.5cm thick. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to lined baking trays.
- Spread biscuits out onto lined baking trays, bake at 160°C / 140 Fan for 30 minutes or until dry and still pale in colour. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature.
- Prior to serving dust each biscuit with caster or icing sugar. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- You don’t need to cream the butter and sugar together – doing this will incorporate too much air into the biscuits.
- Dough will be very crumbly, this is traditional with shortbread. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons of ice-cold water to the mixture.
- You can make the shortbread dough up to 2 days prior to baking. Before you want to bake the biscuits, take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to come back up to room temperature before attempting to roll it out. I leave dough that has been chilling overnight out on the kitchen counter for about an hour to allow it to soften.
- This recipe yields about 20-30 biscuits and I made just over 30. How many biscuits you get from the dough depends on how big your cutter is and the thickness that you roll your dough out to.
- Shortbread is traditionally baked at a very low oven temperature. Don’t be alarmed when you read the instructions and see how low I’ve stated the oven temperature to be set to. The shortbread biscuits are baked for half an hour to ensure they’re cooked all the way through, but when they are ready they’ll be very pale in colour and only slightly golden around the edges.
- This is a great recipe to bake a few weeks before Christmas as the baked shortbread will keep stored in an airtight container for a month.
Love shortbread? Try my homemade jammie dodgers next!
Or try something more festive by baking these Gingerbread Men!
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