I love shortbread. Probably because it is mostly butter. However, I don’t know where the “bread” part comes from as it is definitely a cookie, buuuuuut it originated in Scotland and they wrap eggs in sausage and deep fry them and then there is haggis… Let us not dwell on the details.
Here are the details: Shortbread is one of the easiest cookies one can make. It is basically just fat, flour and sugar. I have made shortbread many, many times using all sorts of techniques and recipes and I have found that the key to good cookies is working cold and fast as if you are making the flakiest pie crust ever.
- 350g unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes (you vegan? use coconut oil)
- 200g sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I like to put some ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg with the sugar)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 525g plain flour (sieved)
- 1/4 tsp salt
Whatchu do is coat your butter blocks with the sugar, salt and vanilla then get out your hand mixer, put it at its lowest setting and start mixing, then add some flour, then mix it some more then add more flour then mix it, then add more flour and mix until it looks all crumbly and grainy. Using your hands, push the mixture together in the bowl until it forms a solid ball. Make the ball into a pancake, wrap in plastic, then leave in the fridge for an hour (at least). When it is super chilled, roll it out, make your shapes. If you want to keep your shapes looking sharp, refrigerate again for about an hour before baking at 180 for about 20- 30 minutes. You want the edges of the cookies to just begin browning when you take them out of the oven.