Buttery and crisp shortbread biscuits. Delicious dunked into caramel and melted chocolate or crumbled over ice cream. 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 accessible, 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, but I also love to use heart-shaped or regular round cutters.
Once the shortbread all baked, if you didn’t sprinkle the shortbread with sugar before baking you can now decorate each biscuit with a light dusting of icing sugar.
Your ticket to buttery, crumbly shortbread heaven is right here with this recipe.
200g butter (salted or unsalted), softened
75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
150g plain flour
150g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line two large baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Preheat oven to 160°C / 140°C Fan / Gas Mark 3. Cream the softened butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat together until light and pale in colour (about 1-2 minutes).
- Now sift the flours and add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture along with the vanilla extract. Continue to mix until a crumbly and soft ball of dough comes together. Don’t overwork the dough, try to touch it as little as possible. At this point you can wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill it for 15 minutes, however this is an optional step.
- On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about 5mm / 1/4 inch thickness. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to the lined baking trays. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with a little extra sugar or you can dust each baked biscuit with icing sugar after baking if you prefer.
- Bake the biscuits for 30-35 minutes until they’re crisp and slightly golden around the edges.
- Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5-10 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for up to a week, but they definitely won’t last longer than a day or two!
Recipe from “Cooking Up A Storm” by Sam Stern
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