In the world of cookies, few treats are as timeless and beloved as traditional shortbread. With its buttery richness and melt-in-your-mouth texture, shortbread has been a favourite for generations. This simple yet exquisite cookie is a testament to the magic that can happen when just a few high-quality ingredients come together. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the history and art of making traditional shortbread, and share a classic recipe that’s sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. Please note that this traditional shortbread recipe isn’t our own, however this will give you an excellent traditional shortbread biscuit that you can make from home.
Ingredients for Classic Shortbread:
For this classic shortbread recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Preheat Your Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (160°C). Prepare a baking pan, either a 9-inch round pan or a square one, by greasing it lightly or lining it with parchment paper.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes of mixing with an electric mixer.
- Incorporate Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the flour (and salt if you’re using it) to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overmix; you want a crumbly, sandy texture.
- Shape the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it a few times until it forms a cohesive ball.
- Press into the Pan: Press the dough evenly into your prepared baking pan. If you’d like, you can prick the surface with a fork to create a decorative pattern.
- Bake to Perfection: Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the edges turn a light golden brown. Keep an eye on it to avoid overbaking.
- Cool and Slice: Remove the shortbread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, using a sharp knife, carefully slice the warm shortbread into wedges or squares while it’s still in the pan. This will make it easier to cut neatly.
- Finish Cooling: Allow the shortbread to cool completely in the pan. It will continue to firm up as it cools.
There you have it—a classic shortbread recipe that pays homage to a centuries-old tradition of creating simple yet decadent cookies. Whether enjoyed with a cup of tea, given as a heartfelt gift, or savoured all on its own, traditional shortbread is a testament to the enduring appeal of uncomplicated, homemade treats.
So, gather your ingredients and embark on a journey through time with this beloved recipe. Experience the joy of baking and savouring a slice of history with every crumbly, buttery bite.