There is no biscuit more christmassy to me than shortbread. Over the past few weeks I’ve been perfecting my recipe in order to get the most delicious, buttery shortbreads that will satisfy the whole family. You can’t beat homemade shortbread after all, so here’s how I make it:
- 50g of corn flour
- 100g of plain flour
- 50g of caster sugar
- 100g of salted butter
Some people may argue it doesn’t matter if you have salted or unsalted butter however in my experience salted butter gives the best results. Also you can just use 150g of plain flour if you don’t have any corn flour, however if you do use the combination I have suggested above you will achieve better, softer, crumbly shortbreads.
Firstly, measure out all of your ingredients, this makes the whole process faster and less messy with little room for error. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees (the same applies for fan ovens)
Next, place the butter in a mixing bowel, making sure it is at room temperature, add the caster sugar and mix together with the butter, using a wooden spoon.
Once the caster sugar and the butter are properly mixed add both the corn flour and plain flour.
Use a wooden spoon again to mix this all together until it comes to a consistency that looks similar to than of bread crumbs, like the image shown below.
Now it’s time to get your hands dirty! Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.
Here is when you can get creative. Place your ball of dough onto a floured surface to it doesn’t stick and use a rolling pin to roll it into a thickness of between 2-3cm, then you can decide whether you are going to use the dough to create Christmas shapes or a simple circle.
Once you have decided on the shape of your shortbread, score in your pattern. If you are just using your dough to create a single large circle then I would use a sharp knife to outline the ‘slices’ of the shortbread, do not cut all the way through! Then I would use a fork to poke into the shortbread and make a soft, traditional pattern. If you have divided your shortbread into christmas shapes you can literally do whatever you want with regards to pattern, go crazy!
Once you have created your patterns place the shortbread the fridge for about 15 mins, this is so the design you have created doesn’t fade away when the shortbread is put in the oven.
Once the 15 mins is up, place the shortbread in the oven for 20 mins, sometimes the shortbread needs more time. When the shortbread is ready it will be pale on top and starting to go golden around the sides. It will feel soft to the touch but it is meant to spring back, they should not be hard and if they are then they have been over cooked. The biscuits will harden when they are cooling.
Sprinkle some more caster sugar over the shortbread while they are still hot. Then leave shortbread to cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.