Shortbread has an easy way to remember the ingredients – a ‘1, 2, 3’ rule. One part sugar to two parts butter to three parts flour. For shortbread you really do need to use good quality ingredients. You can use either caster sugar, granulated sugar or brown sugar each changes the taste or texture a little, I prefer granulated sugar for my plain shortbread.
You can use a mix of flour together with ground rice or semolina, (my personal preference is for 1/3 ground rice, 2/3 flour), you can even substitute some ground almonds for flour. If you want chocolate shortbread you can substitute cocoa for some flour (instead of 300g flour, 260g flour and 40g).
You can add a wide variety of flavours:
- chopped nuts of your choice (pistachio, hazelnuts etc)
- citrus fruit zest
- chocolate chips
- dried fruit
- crystallised ginger
I’ve given basic quantities below for a a 20cm tin.
- 100g sugar
- 200g unsalted butter, cubed
- 300g flour
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Mix the flour and sugar, either by stirring in a bowl or by giving them a quick blitz in the food processor
- Rub in the butter, this is amazingly easy in a food processor! If you are using a food processor blitz until you get just past the breadcrumb stage and it is starting to clump together as a dough.
- Press into a greased 20cm loose bottomed tin and score the top into pieces
- Bake for about 25mins. If you’re making chocolate shortbread watch it a little more carefully as it burns more easily.
- if you can see the scored lines mark them again as soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, then sprinkle with caster sugar whilst still in the tin.
- Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.
- Carefully cut along the scored lines with large sharp knife