Monday, April 25, 2011

Shortbread (Gill's mum's)

Gotta love a delicious golden biscuit!  This is a recipe that family friend passed on to us (Gill, she actually hand-wrote a beautiful little recipe book for my mum, and added pictures of Australia and friends as a goodbye present when my family left Malta).  This is her mum's recipe :)

This dough is fantastic to keep rolled into a sausage, and tightly wrapped with cling wrap in the fridge, especially at the Christmas/winter season, ready to be whipped out, sliced, and thrown in the oven for freshly baked shortbread biscuits at any time!

Shortbread (the background ones were wrapped as gifts.


2 oz (56g) icing sugar
7 oz (200g) butter, slightly softened (but not melted!!!)
10 oz (280g) plain flour, sifted.
Vanilla extract/paste (to taste, I used 1/2 a teaspoon)

Beat Butter, sugar and vanilla in a free-standing mixer (or electric mixer) until well incorporated..

Add sifted flour and mix gently into it, making sure it's well mixed, but don't overdo it.

Bring together into a ball, as much as possible, avoid using your clean hands.  The whole idea of shortbread is that the butter melts in the oven, and you don't want it to do any melting before that.  The touch of a warm hand is enough to do that, especially when the weather is warm.  In fact I like to prepare shortbread dough on a cold day for this very reason!

Shape into a long sausage shape, wrap with clingwrap and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to firm up and rest.

Take the dough out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you want to bake it (longer if it's cold in the kitchen).

Preheat the oven to 180C, (don't use fan force, it's not ideal for baking of cakes/biscuits).  Prepare a cookie sheet with baking paper.

Unwrap the dough, and using the back of a butter knife (this will give the cookies a rough edge) slice it up, approx 1 cm thick. 

Place on the baking tray, leaving a little space for slight spreading.

As soon as you put them in the oven, lower the heat to 160. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just barely golden on the edges.

**note:  If you cut them thinner, and bake them until golden, they taste exactly like danish butter cookies!

with the Scandinavian spicy cookies :)
You can also press into a Shortbread mould, not sure about baking times here.

Another option is to roll it out thickly, place into a couple of small cake tins, and cut/decorate with fork to make petticoat tails.  Click for a pic, courtesy of