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finished shortbread

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!

stir in flour

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.

press into tins

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.

cool in tins

Shortbread

  • 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.

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