Recipes

The Most Delicious Shortbread

This delicious shortbread will definitely leave you wanting more. A perfect snack/treat to have at the ready to serve with tea/coffee or just as a quick afternoon pick me up.

So it’s been a minute since I last posted a recipe. But here I am back with a super easy recipe, in the midst of lockdown. If you’re currently in lockdown and you’re looking to bake something simple and easy, give this recipe a go. It’s so delicious and you’re family will be super happy and so thankful.

Shortbread is one of the most delicious biscuits out there. It’s buttery, it’s sweet but not too sweet, it’s crumbly but also soft, it’s just an all round winner. In my opinion it’s the absolute perfect biscuit. And it’s also not complicated/fussy, it’s very simple and easy to bake. Any novice baker can totally pull off this super easy recipe. Even Mary Berry, the queen of baking (in my opinion), will be very impressed and might even say: “it’s absolutely scrummy!”

Butter is literally everything in this recipe. So if you can, use some good quality fresh butter, because it really will all the difference. I adapted a Nigella Lawson recipe into this one, the main thing I changed was to add white rice flour to the mix. The white rice flour completely changes the texture, it makes it a bit more crumby and give it that melt in you mouth kind of texture. Similar to cornstarch, but adds a bit more depth. So if you don’t have rice flour you can just substitute it with cornstarch.

Another thing that make this recipe golden, is using icing sugar instead of normal sugar or caster sugar. The icing sugar helps to give the dough a very smooth texture and it also lessens the mixing time, which makes the dough even more ‘short’ and crumbly. So for this recipe it really would not be advisable to substitute the icing sugar.

How to make the most delicious shortbread:

Making shortbread is super easy. All you need is room temperature salted butter, icing sugar, cornstarch, cake flour, white rice flour, vanilla, a pinch of salt, and some caster sugar to top the biscuits with. The process involves mixing all the ingredients together until you have a cohesive ball of dough, pressing it into a pan, scoring the dough, and baking it for an hour or so at a low temperature. It’s that simple.

A few tips:

  • Use good quality salted butter.
  • Make sure the butter is room temperature and pliable, but not completely soft, it should still retain it’s shape.
  • Use white rice flour, not brown rice flour.
  • You can substitute the rice flour with more cornstarch of the same weight.
  • Make sure you use icing sugar for the dough.
  • Use caster sugar to sprinkle the top of the already scored dough.
  • Bake it low and slow. It should have a really light golden colour, but it should be cooked through. You can test a piece and it it still seems too moist and not completely cooked just pop in back in the oven.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • I use a 30x30cm square baking tray. And I usually get 100-121 squares out of it, depending how big I cut them. You can halve the recipe and use a smaller baking tray, if you want a smaller amount.
  • The thickness of the shortbread will influence the baking time, if it’s flatter it will bake quicker, if it’s thicker it will bake longer.

The Most Delicious Shortbread

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr

Ingredients

  • 400 g salted butter (room temperature)
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 100 g cornstarch
  • 100 g white rice flour (can substitute with more cornstarch)
  • 400 g cake flour
  • 5 ml vanilla
  • 2,5 ml salt
  • 60 ml caster sugar (for dusting)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 140C. And prepare your baking tray by spraying it with non-stick spray.
  • Add your butter, icing sugar, cornstarch, rice flour, and cake flour to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix at a low speed with the beater/paddle attachment, until a cohesive dough forms. Add the pinch of salt and vanilla, and mix until it has mixed through.
  • Press your dough into your baking tray. Smooth it out with a bench scraper or the bottom of a glass. Try to get it as smooth and flat as possible.
  • Using a ruler decide how you want to cut your shortbread. You can either cut them into equal sized blocks or you can cut them into rectangular bars. Take a large knife like a cleaver or even a thin bench scraper and cut your the dough in a grid formation so that they are somewhat equal in size. (Press down into the dough instead of a front to back cutting motion.)
  • Take a fork and puncture each block/rectangle. This will ensure that no air gets trapped in the dough, and that no bubbles are form. Sprinkle the top with a light layer of caster sugar
  • Place the tray in the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and turn the tray. If it seems to be browning too quickly turn the oven temperature down slightly. If after 60 minutes it's not cooked all the way through yet, pop it in for another 10 minutes.
    (If halving the recipe check for doneness after 45 minutes.)
    (The thickness of the shortbread will also influence the baking time.)
  • Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting and removing from the pan.

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