The shortbread is a small butter biscuit baked at low temperature and it’s traditionally Scottish.
They contain only 3 ingredients: sugar, butter and flour. They are friable and crunchy biscuits with a good taste of butter. They have a day dedicated to them and that’s January 6th.
I read that these biscuits appeared in the Middle Ages. Originally it was a Scottish bread with sugar and spices. Subsequently, the recipe changed and the butter replaced the yeast so the Scottish shortbread we know was born.
Recipe for Scottish-style shortbread biscuits
Ingredients (for 10 to 15 shortbreads, depending on the shape you give them)
This recipe is ideal if you have a friend coming over for tea. They are fairly easy to make. Just remember 3 numbers: 3, 2, 1…for the quantities as you may see below:
- 300g of flour
- 200g of unsalted butter (leave out of the fridge for some time before the preparation)
- 100g of sugar
Before starting, it is necessary to ‘cream’ the butter, that is to say, to beat the unsalted butter and the sugar with the spatula or a whip for several minutes until you get a creamy butter paste.
Ideally the mixture shall become creamy and white, and very smooth.
You shall then add to the creamed butter the flour and stir in the mixture with the spatula.
You shouldn’t work the dough for too long once the flour is mixed in. For 2 reasons, the first is that you could lose the smooth effect. The second is that the dough will shrink when cooked.
At this point, you should make a ball, put some transparent film around it and leave it to cool for at least 10 minutes. This will allow you to spread the dough without it sticking to your rolling pin.
On a cutting board or a sheet of parchment paper, lower the dough to a thickness of about 1 cm.
To make traditional shortbread, cut the edges of your drop to form a beautiful rectangle. Use a template of the shape you want (I used one of them to make my little squares). With this template, trace slightly on your lower lines necessary for cutting (I do it with a spatula).
Use these strokes to cut your cookies with a knife, dough cutter or pizza wheel so they look even.
With sharp scissors or a fork tip, prick the rectangles to replicate the trademark of shortbreads. This step is optional but it is to stay as faithful as possible to the original.
Put the baking sheet on a baking tray and put the biscuits in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. This makes it easier to handle raw cookies and to prevent them from spreading too much during cooking.
Preheat your oven to 170° on a rotating heat.
Once cooled down, remove your plate from the freezer and detach the cookies from each other leaving about 1 cm between each.
Bake them for 12 to 13 minutes. Be careful, the shortbreads must remain white, do not wait until they brown, they lose their melting texture and yummy butter flavour!
Take them out of the oven and let them cool on a rack (very important, otherwise they will get soaked).
Like many cookies, they can be kept in an airtight box.