Sunday, 27 May 2012

Shortbread Thins

There are so many recipes for shortbread, it really depends on you finding your favourite.  There are some cardinal rules to follow (although I broke one, as you'll see!) - usually, you should use soft butter and cream it with the sugar; and you should handle the dough as little as possible to prevent the gluten in the flour developing and leaving you with tough biscuits instead of crisp shorties.  Well, I agree with the second bit, but I make mine with ice cold cubes of butter mixed in a food processor.  I use 175g of butter (unsalted, but add a good pinch of salt to the mix too), 85g of caster sugar, 200g plain flour and 50g of cornflour.  Tip it all into the processor, with the butter in cubes, and pulse and blend until it comes together into a soft ball of dough.  Stop just when this has happened, and tip it onto a big sheet of cling film.  Use the film to roll it into a long sausage cylinder, wrap well, and leave to firm and settle in the fridge for several hours.  Now, line baking sheets with baking parchment, turn the oven on to 140C (fan) and cut slices off the chilled dough - about 5mm or half a centimetre thick.  Lay out on the parchment and bake for 15-20 minutes or until pale golden.  Keep an eye on them though, they shouldn't be too brown.  Dust with a little more caster sugar and after 5 minutes, carefully lift to a cooling rack.  You can store any leftover dough in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a month or two.  Delicious with the Rhubarb Fool recipe - see previous entry.  The advantage of this method is that you don't have to roll the dough out - it is so buttery, this can be a problem especially in hot weather like today, and this can lead to over-handling and an impaired texture.


  1. not wanting to boast, but these biscuits were so light, if I didn't put them in a lidded tin, they would have upped and floated away of their own accord. Really, the BEST shortbread recipe, please try them

  2. These look fabulous, Maggie -- I'm definitely going to try them. Still following your blog and missing the OU F&D group -- it just isn't the same now!