How to Make Homemade Shortbread

Written by susan leisure
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How to Make Homemade Shortbread
Shortbread fingers are a classic shape.

Scottish shortbread is a classic that can be enjoyed plain or with any number of additional flavourings. This traditional cookie is decadent as a result of the high butter content. The recipe and baking process is relatively simple; anyone can enjoy fresh shortbread at home.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 0.34kg. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 9-by-13 inch baking pan or baking tray
  • Sharp knife

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    Prepare the Dough

  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 177 degrees C.

    How to Make Homemade Shortbread
    Shortbread fingers are a classic shape.
  2. 2

    Cream the butter, sugar and salt. The butter should be at room temperature before you begin.

  3. 3

    Slowly add flour into the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Mix by hand. Add 1 tsp of whole milk or water if the mixture is too dry.

  4. 4

    Add additional flavourings, if desired. Shortbread can accommodate almost any sweet or savoury flavouring, including dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips and shredded cheese. Be creative with your flavour additions.

  5. 5

    Refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to 24 hours.

    Shape the Shortbread

  1. 1

    Shape the dough. Traditionally, shortbread is formed into one of three shapes: one large circle that's divided into segments as soon as it is taken out of the oven, shortbread rounds or shortbread fingers.

    How to Make Homemade Shortbread
    Shortbread rounds are a traditional shape.
  2. 2

    Roll the dough and cut it into shapes. For special occasions, roll the shortbread into a 3/4-inch sheet and cut it into special shapes with cookie cutters.

  3. 3

    Smooth the dough into a baking pan. If you prefer to bake the dough in a sheet, smooth it into a 9-by-13 inch baking pan. Use the tines of a fork to poke venting holes in the shortbread before placing it in the oven.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle the shapes or sheet with sugar before placing it in the oven. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until slightly brown on the top.

  5. 5

    Cut and cool the shortbread. If you baked the shortbread in a baking pan, cut the sheet as soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow any other shapes to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing them from the pan or baking tray.

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