Since the countdown to Christmas is now in full swing, I thought that a recipe for shortbread is now in order. This is one of my go-to things to bake when I am invited at someone’s home. Reasons being: I definitely don’t need to spend a fortune for gifts, I can make it easily up to two days before the event (it will keep wonderfully well if stored properly), it can be easily transported anywhere without becoming a mess when travelling, and the recipe can be varied according to any flavour you want. I have once tried it with lavender and lemon zest. It was the nicest thing I have ever had. It’s a win-win situation all round.
Shortbread was never one of my favourites until a few years ago. It is definitely my husband’s though and the shortbread-baking task was automatically his. After a lot of resistance I decided it was time to try it, and it couldn’t have been simpler. Playing with shortbread dough is fun, although may I remind you here to avoid over-handling it as it can turn tough. If you want to make two like I did, just double the quantities.
Here’s what you need:
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 70g icing sugar, sifted
- 125g plain flour
- 125g rice flour
Grease and line a 23 cm round baking tin and preheat the oven to 140°C.
Beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift in the flours and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Press the dough into a ball and knead lightly until smooth. Press the dough into the prepared tin, around 1cm in thickness. Lightly score with a knife into wedges and pierce with a fork. For a prettier result you may also want to pinch the sides.
Bake into the preheated oven for around 35 to 40 minutes until the shortbread is set and turns golden.
Cool on baking trays for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer onto wire racks. When the shortbread is almost completely cold, cut through the lines into wedges or pieces as neatly as you can. Cool completely and store into airtight containers. Or distribute into packages and give some as gifts.