My Mom’s Favourite Rich Shortbread
This is rich buttery and slightly crumbly shortbread, that tastes as if you have worked harder than you actually have to make it. This recipe was given to my mom when she moved into a new home over 30 years ago. The estate agent dropped off some homemade shortbread to welcome them and thank them for buying through her. My mom loved the shortbread and asked for the recipe, I am my mother’s daughter and it has been our family’s go-to recipe ever since.
This is why I love recipes that have been passed down and come with a story; somehow, they always taste better. If I miss a friend or family member, I make their recipe, and the distance or loss feels more tolerable
I like to press down the mixture with a glass or other times, when the weather is warmer it smooths over nicely by just using the back of your hand. You can divide the mixture into one or two tins depending on what you choose to use the shortbread for. Sometimes you may want a thick biscuit to enjoy with a coffee or you may wish to it as a base for a dessert or sweet treat like millionaires shortbread. I use one of two square tins either a 20cmx20cm or a 24cmx24cm. I pressed the shortbread intended for biscuits into the smaller 20x20cm tin and the 24 x 24x cm tin I use as a base for millionaires shortbread or strawberry shortcake.
The recipe can be made by hand, by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients or as I like to do by mixing everything together in a food processor. It takes minutes to make using either method and it is delicious.
Shortbread doesn’t just need to be accompanied by a hot drink you can: I
- A wonderful edible gift, homemade edible gifts leave the recipient’s hearts feeling full
- Given to friends when visiting or as a thank-you gift
- A perfect after-meal treat to take on a picnic
- Packed in a lunch box as a weekly treat
- A perfect ending to a mid-week dinner meal
- As a base for millionaire shortbread read my previous post
- A wonderful fuss-free dessert that you can make ahead – using strawberries and shortbread, especially now when in the UK the strawberries are at their best. Cut a round or square of shortbread and place some strawberries over the top with whipped cream, custard or ice cream for a wonderful and simple make-ahead dessert
For young children: The recipe can be made by hand and is a great way to keep children occupied in the holidays. This teaches children patients, exercises their fine motor skills, waiting their turn, how to clean up and so much more. With the biggest bonus being they will love the end result.
Rubbing the to work on their fine motor skills and improved dexterity.
Numeracy – weighing the ingredients out, doubling or halving the mixture)
Literacy – they read the recipe out loud and this will help improve their reading and spelling.
I always remember our Home Economics teachers checking our palms to see if we were using just our fingertips. This taught us concentration and patients as the heat of our hands didn’t melt the butter, thus creating a lighter and shorter end product.
So if you are looking for an easy recipe and one that is versatile using store cupboard ingredients make a batch of homemade shortbread.
- 2 cups plain flour
- 90 g (160 ml) icing sugar + 3 heaped tablespoons
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 250g butter – at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornflour / Maizena
- When it has been baked, a few tablespoons of caster sugar to sprinkle over the shortbread.
- Use a 24cm x 24cm square tin lined with grease-proof paper.
- In a food processor (see notes for the by-hand method)
- Add all the ingredients to your food processor bowl and blend them together until a sausage shape forms.
- Press into your prepared tin about an inch and a half in thickness and bake at 180 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes until pale golden brown
- Cut the shortbread into your desired-sized pieces and dust with caster sugar if desired.
- Cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container.
Rub everything together using your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Using both hands form the dough into a ball.
Press your dough into your desired tin and press the prongs of a fork to indent the dough every centimetre or so.
Bake the shortbread at 180 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes till pale golden brown
Cut the shortbread into your desired portions (fingers, squares, rectangles) as soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven.
If desired and once the pieces have been cut dust the shortbread with caster sugar.
Cool the shortbread in the tin and then store it in an airtight container.
Tip: If the shortbread is too soft and sticky add a few more tablespoons of flour a little at a time.
Press the shortbread to about ½ inch thick.