I ate a lot of shortbreads growing up. I love how buttery and faintly sweet they are - and they literally melt in your mouth.
My mother would always buy a pack of Mcvities’ shortbreads from the nearby store. They are quite expensive to buy so I taught myself how to make my own shortbreads a few years ago. They are super simple to make and super tasty!
Like all baking recipes, the shortbread one is easy to manipulate. You can add whatever you like to the basic dough. Chocolate chips are a classic and so is orange peel with cranberries (my favourite) and pistachios are good too!
You can go a little crazy with your shortbreads too. You can bake them into traditional rectangles and “petticoat tails” or you can go modern and use a cookie cutter. Round shortbreads are delightful too. If you want, you can also dip your baked shortbread into melted chocolate - they’re delicious!
You really need good quality butter and flour to get good shortbreads. You can use All-Purpose (Plain) Flour, but I use Top Flour because I love how superfine the flour is and superfine flour = light bakes.
But make sure they do not brown too much. They should be off-white with light brown sides and bottom (that’s why the oven temperature is low).
Basic Shortbread Recipe:
100grams Butter (Softened at room temperature)
50grams Icing Sugar
Pinch of Salt.
150grams All-Purpose Flour
50grams Semolina Flour (Gives the shortbreads a crunchier texture - reduce the All-Purpose Flour to 100grams)
50grams Rice Flour (Gives the shortbreads a grainier feel - reduce the All-Purpose Flour to 100grams)
50grams Chocolate Chips
Melted Dark Chocolate (If you want to dip your shortbread halves in chocolate)
50grams chopped dried Cranberries (Good with ½ tablespoon of Lemon/Orange Zest)
50grams of any chopped Nuts
Ground Tea Leaves from a Teabag
50grams of grated Cheddar Cheese
A teaspoon of Herbs (Rosemary or Chilli are good)
Cream room temperature Butter with Icing Sugar and Salt in a large bowl until smooth, light and fluffy.
Add in the Flour and Optionals (if any) and fold the mixture until a dough forms. For cut-out shapes, form the dough into a ball and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. For traditional shapes, press the dough into a square or a round baking tin and prick holes with fork. And then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 160degrees Celsius.
For cut-outs, roll the refrigerated dough on a floured work surface (or on baking paper) into ⅓-inch thick and then cut out your shortbreads with your desired shapes. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Place the shapes onto ungreased baking sheets. Don’t have to place them far apart as they don’t rise much. For traditional shapes, they can straightaway be baked after refrigeration.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15minutes. Make sure they do not brown.
Once baked, cool them completely and store in an airtight container/jar. For traditional shapes, cut them into rectangles or triangles when they are still hot and then cool them completely before transferring them to an airtight container/jar. They do last for up to a month.