I don’t know about you, but when I started baking, I stuck to what I knew, eventually branching out and being (still not very) adventurous! Shortbread always intimidated me for some reason… But I’m here to put your mind at rest, seriously Shortbread is EASY!!!!!
I’m not even going to lie, this recipe comes from a stained, torn, food-splattered cookbook that was my Dads, and is now mine! It’s called “Cooking is Fun” which still makes me raise my eyebrows and bitterly mutter something along the lines of “Suuuuuure it is”. Produced by those helpful people at “Good Housekeeping” and stolen from a high school a long while ago, with someone else’s name in the front along with their form room! (Looking it up on Amazon, it’s from 1976).
Here is the shortbread recipe, I am henceforth calling:
Kay’s Easy Shortbread!
Makes (lots, ish, depending on how you cut them…)
150g Plain Flour
50g Caster Sugar
Caster Sugar for Dredging/Chocolate for dipping/Icing sugar for icing… seriously, you get the idea….
Preheat oven to 150°c/300°f/gas mark 1-2
Sift the Flour and Sugar together in a bowl. (Is “Sift” a mental word? Sieve it? Still weird… anyway….)
Work the butter into the dry ingredients by squeezing gently with one hand, keeping it in one piece until it binds together, (if it’s a bit too dry, I literally wet my hand under a tap to add a little bit of moisture…)
Lightly flour a board, and roll out, if you’re making “rounds”, divide into two pieces, roll to approx 1cm thickness keeping a round shape. If you’re making “fingers” roll into a rectangular shape to approx 1cm thickness, if you’re cutting shapes (eg stars) roll to 1cm thickness and cut them out, but try not to work the dough too much if you’re re-rolling it out…
Put your dough – in whatever form you have so created – into a lined baking tray (say’s greased in the book, but I use baking paper it’s up to you really)
Prick the surface of the dough with a fork or a cocktail stick, or something pointy…
Place into the centre of the oven and bake for approx, 45 minutes (I know it’s ages!!!) it might be less for some ovens, and for smaller shaped shortbread so keep an eye on it! It’s done when the shortbread is firm and lightly browned
When cooked lift them onto a cooling rack (see why I use baking paper now!) and Dredge* with caster sugar.
When cooled divide if necessary, and eat!
Lasts… I have no idea, no more than a couple of days in this house! If they last a while for you I’d appreciate a timescale!
*Dredging, is something I had to look up (see how unashamed I am here?!) It’s sprinkling caster sugar on top, seriously, why can’t they just say that!? But yeah, you can buy (or perhaps already own) a dredger, or you can use a sieve or a tea-strainer like I did!
For my christmas ones I dusted with icing sugar, which is a bit less dense… and looks a bit prettier.
The iced ones, I followed the packaging on my icing sugar, it’s essentially add water to icing sugar to desired consistency and GO NUTS, I decorated with edible gold balls… Leave to set on baking paper.
The chocolate ones, I melted some chocolate (can do this over a pan of water or in the microwave) and dipped the shortbread in once it had cooled, leaving to set on some baking paper.
EAT AND ENJOY!!