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Best ever shortbread recipe please!
Tips and tricks also welcome


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23 replies to this topic

#1 noi'mnot

Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:31 PM

So as part of my Christmas baking frenzy, I've decided to try making shortbread after my one not-so-good attempt about 15 years ago.

I'd love it if somebody could share a tried and true recipe! Any tips and tricks are also welcome.

I was thinking of making cookie cut-out type shortbread, is this the best type for somebody who is generally a good cook but inexperienced with shortbread? I'm also thinking about making a couple of variations, like macadamia or lavender or... other suggestions?

Thanks so much in advance! original.gif

#2 Leggy

Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:39 PM

I will try to remember to add my cardamom-flavoured one when I get home. So looking forward to having a Christmas baking orgy this weekend!

#3 noi'mnot

Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

Ooooh, I love cardamom! I even bought a cardamom plant, it's so wonderful. I'd love if if you could share your recipe, thank you! original.gif

#4 *LucyE*

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

My best tip is to use the blender and only touch it as little as possible.

A really 'short' shortbread dough can be crumbly and difficult to work with.

#5 noi'mnot

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

So how does that work when making star shapes, and such? I've noticed that many recipes tell you to press pieces of the dough into the tray (before scoring into wedges), so would the best strategy be to press dough into a star shaped cutter, rather than rolling it out and cutting it?

#6 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:10 PM

The recipe I use is gluten free, so a great gift for those with intolerances, but is also just an all round, really delicious, ridiculously easy shortbread.

I think I wrote up the recipe on my blog.  Found it.  

Gluten free shortbread



#7 noi'mnot

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

Oh lovely, thanks for the gluten free recipe! I will now be making my sister in law a very happy lady! original.gif

Any more recipes and tips/tricks much appreciated! original.gif

#8 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

QUOTE (noi'mnot @ 14/12/2012, 05:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So how does that work when making star shapes, and such? I've noticed that many recipes tell you to press pieces of the dough into the tray (before scoring into wedges), so would the best strategy be to press dough into a star shaped cutter, rather than rolling it out and cutting it?


I divide my dough into quarters, and keep what I am not using in the fridge. Then you only have to roll and work with a small amount at a time.  I get a saucer, fill the middle with cornflour, and dip my cutter in the cornflour between cuts, to help minimise sticking.  

The mixture can be a bit fiddly, so you are a first timer, you could also try cutting into rectangles/squares, and just pushing a cutter into the top to mark it as a way of decorating without cutting shapes.  Or they look great rolled into balls, flattened with a fork, and then topped with a small piece of green and reg glace cherry.  Festive without the fuss.

#9 Mum2Ash

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

I made these ones (first time) for gifts and everyone loved them - I made star shapes.

250g Butter softened
2/3 cup pure icing sugar
1 cup rice flour
2 cups plain flour

1. Preheat oven 160 / 140 fan forced lightly grease baking trays (I used baking paper)
2. Process butter, icing sugar and flours until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Press mixture together to form a dough. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5 mm thick.
** I put into fridge for 30 mins before cutting to make it easier to work with **
3. Cut shapes from dough. Transfer onto prepared trays. Bake 10-15 minutes or until dry and firm but still pale.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

I only baked for 10 mins but I guess it depends on your oven.





#10 *LucyE*

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:20 PM

QUOTE
So how does that work when making star shapes, and such? I've noticed that many recipes tell you to press pieces of the dough into the tray (before scoring into wedges), so would the best strategy be to press dough into a star shaped cutter, rather than rolling it out and cutting it?

If you really want to do the cut outs, make some fridge space and have a few trays handy. I'm in QLD where I find it messy to do any pastry type work due to the heat.  If you're somewhere cooler, this may not be as important.

Rest your dough before using. It helps the gluten relax or something. Same reason why you don't over knead it and the blender is brilliant for this. Over worked gluten causes the rock cake effect. I would break up the dough into smaller portions, flatten into discs and glad wrap to rest in the fridge.

Work with one piece of dough at a time, and roll out between 2 sheets of Glad bake (I prefer this brand to others because it's thicker but the 'new and improved' isn't as good). It saves mess and also means less flour is needed to stop it sticking which throws out proportions and makes the shortbread dry.

Then place on tray and chill in fridge (covered). Roll out the next bit of dough and so on. Then take a chilled tray and cut out your shapes. I find it easiest to have rolled out the dough to the tray size, cut out and then remove the excess dough rather than handle the shapes themselves. Chill again. Then bake.



#11 SeaPrincess

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:25 PM

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 14/12/2012, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
remove the excess dough rather than handle the shapes themselves.

This is the bit I was going to say.  It makes any biscuits shaping much easier to roll the dough on the tray, cut the shapes then remove the excess.


#12 *Lib*

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

Not strickly shortbread, but easy peasy and melts in your mouth!
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/1623/custard+biscuits

#13 CupcakeMumma

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

This one works every time, it's nice and short, but manageable, I cut it into stars.

250 g room temperature butter
110g caster sugar
1 1/2 teas of vanilla or one scraped bean
300g plain flour, I substitute 1/2 cup rice flour makes it crunchier

Preheat oven 160 c

Beat butter and sugar , vanilla until just creamy, don't beat till fluffy.  Add flour and tie till combined.  Turn onto floured board, knead very gently,  roll out dough to 1 cm thickness and cut out stars, place on lined tray, sprinkle with extra sugar is you like.  Bake about 20 minutes, till light golden.  If its hot chill before baking, but I don't really bother, and they still work great


#14 noi'mnot

Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 14/12/2012, 10:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you really want to do the cut outs, make some fridge space and have a few trays handy. I'm in QLD where I find it messy to do any pastry type work due to the heat.  If you're somewhere cooler, this may not be as important.

Rest your dough before using. It helps the gluten relax or something. Same reason why you don't over knead it and the blender is brilliant for this. Over worked gluten causes the rock cake effect. I would break up the dough into smaller portions, flatten into discs and glad wrap to rest in the fridge.

Work with one piece of dough at a time, and roll out between 2 sheets of Glad bake (I prefer this brand to others because it's thicker but the 'new and improved' isn't as good). It saves mess and also means less flour is needed to stop it sticking which throws out proportions and makes the shortbread dry.

Then place on tray and chill in fridge (covered). Roll out the next bit of dough and so on. Then take a chilled tray and cut out your shapes. I find it easiest to have rolled out the dough to the tray size, cut out and then remove the excess dough rather than handle the shapes themselves. Chill again. Then bake.



Brilliant instructions, thank you! I'm in Melbourne so it's not as bad with heat/humidity here, but it's not ideal right now.

I'll do a batch asap and let you all know how I go. Thanks for all of the super advice! original.gif

#15 Leggy

Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

Cardamom shortbread
24 biscuits

150g unsalted butter
1 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Pinch o salt
1/2 sifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp rosewater
2 tbsp pistachios (optional)

1. Clarify the butter by melting it and standing for 1 -2 minutes. Skim off any skin and use 1/2 cup of the clear layer.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the clear butter and sugar together for 1 - 2 minutes till smooth. Stir in vanilla  and rosewater, the add flour mix.

4. Knead until a smooth, slightly sandy dough forms. It should just hold together when squeezed in your palm.

5. Form dough into a 4 x 18cm log on a sheet of baking paper. Roll up log and twist ends of paper to seal, thrn chill for 1hr.

6. Preheat oven to 150C and line a tray with baking paper.

7. Unwrap the log and cut into 24 round. Use a rocking motion with th knife. If the slices break up, allow the log to warm up a bit.

8. Put the slices on the tray with 2cm between them. Press a pistachio into each slice, if using.

9. Bake for 20-25 minutes till biscuits are 1-2 shades darker - after 10 min ,  turn  trays around so everything  cooks evenly.

10. Leave to firm up on trays for about 5 minutes, then cool on racks.

Sorry it's taken so long to post!

#16 noi'mnot

Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

Ooooh, beautiful Leggy, that's going on the menu! Thanks so much! original.gif

#17 SnazzySass

Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:18 PM

9 oz plain flour
4 oz castor sugar
6oz butter

Chill butter until quite hard and bake on a cool day or at night.
Rub butter through sugar and flour or use a pulse setting on a blender
When you can just hold it together it is done i.e. still a bit of crumble to it
Return to fridge for a few mins until it is a bit firmer
For shapes roll dough out and return well covered to fridge for a few hours.
Cut shapes and remove dough from shapes not shapes from dough.
For rounds roll dough into a sausage put in fridge until very firm
Slice rounds about 1 cm wide.
Bake at 160 for 15 to 20 mins. You need to pull them out when the top has a firm crust but is not yet coloured.
Dough can be frozen for about 3 months with no loss of quality.  

I used this method when I worked at a tea shop. works every time and is always commented upon plus you can make it in octorber before things get nuts and just bake it when you need it.

#18 blackcat20

Posted 16 December 2012 - 07:29 PM

Shortbread

I've been using this recipe for years, perfect for cutting out shapes. Just dont cook for 45 minutes, its far too long.

#19 Scruffy Wuffy

Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

Ive made this one before and it came out perfect! Loved it!
*Shortbread recipe.*

#20 Bluenomi

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

This is my Scottish MIL's recipe, the best shortbread ever. It's the proper stuff

Highland Shortbread
8oz Plain Flour
4oz Cornflour
4oz Icing Sugar
8oz Butter (hard, not soft)
Caster Sugar to dredge

Method (by hand)
1. Sieve flour, cornflour and icing sugar.
2. Cut butter into small pieces and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Knead together with fingertips until mixture forms a ball.
4. Roll out onto a lightly floured board.
5. Cut into fingers and place on greased baking trays.  Prick each one several times with a fork.
6. Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC) for about 20 minutes until light coloured.
7. Dredge with caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.

Method (by mixer)
1. Using Creaming/Beating setting, beat butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Sift flours together.
2. Using Folding/Kneading setting gradually add to creamed mixture until well combined, about 1 minute.
3. Turn mixture out onto lightly floured board and knead lightly to form a soft dough.  (Wrap in glad wrap and put into fridge for 20 to 30 minutes until mixture is firm to touch.)
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board or work surface to required thickness.  Cut into fingers and place onto greased baking trays.  Prick with a fork.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until pale golden.
6. Cool on baking trays and dredge with caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.


I always use the mixer, so much easier. Icing sugar means it isn't gritty and the cornflour adds some bite

#21 PatG

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:08 AM

Lemon Shortbread:  

http://ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.com.au...ies-winner.html

But add a bit more lemon zest and leave out the lavender.....

Follow all the other wonderful tips from PP.  I found that keeping it cool, making sure I didn't roll it out too thinly and not cooking too long was the trick.  This recipe held its shape really well when cooking.  I find that sometimes star like shapes get the tips a little brown - not a huge deal but if you use more rounded shapes this doesn't happen.

#22 crazyone2989

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:20 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 17/12/2012, 08:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is my Scottish MIL's recipe, the best shortbread ever. It's the proper stuff

Highland Shortbread
8oz Plain Flour
4oz Cornflour
4oz Icing Sugar
8oz Butter (hard, not soft)
Caster Sugar to dredge

Method (by hand)
1. Sieve flour, cornflour and icing sugar.
2. Cut butter into small pieces and rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Knead together with fingertips until mixture forms a ball.
4. Roll out onto a lightly floured board.
5. Cut into fingers and place on greased baking trays.  Prick each one several times with a fork.
6. Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC) for about 20 minutes until light coloured.
7. Dredge with caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.

Method (by mixer)
1. Using Creaming/Beating setting, beat butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Sift flours together.
2. Using Folding/Kneading setting gradually add to creamed mixture until well combined, about 1 minute.
3. Turn mixture out onto lightly floured board and knead lightly to form a soft dough.  (Wrap in glad wrap and put into fridge for 20 to 30 minutes until mixture is firm to touch.)
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board or work surface to required thickness.  Cut into fingers and place onto greased baking trays.  Prick with a fork.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until pale golden.
6. Cool on baking trays and dredge with caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.


I always use the mixer, so much easier. Icing sugar means it isn't gritty and the cornflour adds some bite



I was just coming in to post the same recipe! It is amazing. Only thing i do differently is let the shortbread to set a bit in the fridge, my great grandma swears by it and my Dad maintains it tastes better LOL. Also i bake for 40 minutes at 150 degrees

#23 neev

Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

thanks Bluenomi, just made it with gluten free flour and it's yum!

#24 suziej

Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

I use the one on the side of the MacKenzies Rice Flour pack - by hand - the tricks are not to overwork the dough and use a slow oven.

(from my blog)

Traditional Shortbread (courtesy of the Rice Flour packet)

225g/8oz plain flour
115g/4oz rice flour
115g/4oz caster sugar
225g/8oz butter
pinch salt

(for those numerically minded, this is - 1 part each rice flour and caster sugar, 2 parts plain flour and butter - and a pinch of salt - no more wondering if your scales are accurate!!!)

Sift the dry stuff, rub in the butter, knead until smooth (don't overwork - it will hold if slightly crumby).  Roll gently on a floured bench and cut shapes.  Prick all over with a fork (and sprinkle with raw sugar if desired).

Cook in a  slow oven (I set mine at 150 C/300 F) for 3/4 - 1 hour until pale brown.





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