Shortbread is a biscuit I particularly associate with Christmas, though I do make it fairly regularly through the year, and if it were up to Mr Minecraft we would make it every week, as it’s probably his all time favourite!
When I say shortbread, I mean the classic three ingredient mixture, four if you count the ground rice, as I love the slightly gritty crunch that ground rice gives. For me shortbread doesn’t need a whole lot of choc chips, or dried fruit or anything like that, just sugar, (good) butter, and flour in a roughly 1:2:3 ratio.
I know not everyone will agree, so I wouldn’t ever say this is the best shortbread, it’s just my favourite. This recipe is for plain shortbread, and while I love this and am not a fan of complicating it excessively, there are some simple flavourings we sometimes add. Vanilla is an obvious one, I love lavender flowers (used in moderation), citrus zest of any sort is lovely, and more recently I’ve discovered matcha (powdered green tea) as a flavouring. See Natascha’s delicious version with lavender and blood orange zest here.
- 275g plain flour
- 100g ground rice (use rice flour or cornmeal if you can’t find it)
- 250g good unsalted butter
- 100g sugar
- approx 1/2 tsp sea salt, but salt to taste
- Optional add ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla seeds/paste, 1 Tbs lavender flowers, 1 Tbs citrus zest, (If you don’t like the idea of whole flowers in your biscuits, you can blitz the lavender with the sugar in a blender until finely ground).
Preheat oven to 150C. Line two tins with baking paper, I used a 24cm round tin and an approx 20x30cm rectangle, or you could use one large baking sheet.
Cream room temperature butter and sugar together using a mixer or wooden spoon. Fold in the flour, salt and ground rice with a silicon spatula or large spoon. It should form a stiff dough. Press into your chosen pan and mark into whatever shapes you choose. As pictured above I did a combination of squares and wedges. Prick all over with a fork.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your pan(s). The ones above took about 40 min. The shortbread should be firm and a very light golden brown. While still warm, go over your marked lines again with a sharp knife.
Allow to cool completely in the tin on a rack. Once cold, store in an airtight container. It will last at least a month.