This shortbread uses a simple 3:2:1 ratio of flour to butter to sugar. I’ve also suggested replacing a third of the flour with cornflour as it creates a nice crumbly texture. These can easily be made gluten-free – I used two-thirds Doves gluten free flour with one third cornflour.
Shortbread are easy to make but are delicious, keep for ages in an airtight container and you can vary their appearance very easily. If you do botch a batch, keep them to use in a cheesecake base or for a fridge cake like tiffin or caramel shortbread. If you have any clotted cream you need to use up, you can substitute half of the butter in the recipe for clotted cream. You can make individual biscuits (see below), petticoat tails, as pictured above, or fingers, by pressing the mix into a square or rectangular tin. I use a loose bottomed 26 × 26cm square tin.
300g plain flour or 200g plain flour and 100g corn starch/cornflour
200g room temperature butter or vegan Stork baking block
100g caster sugar
1. Pre-heat your oven to 150C. Mix butter and sugar together. You can do this with a wooden spoon but it’s much easier with a stand mixer or food processor. Add flour and mix to give a smooth dough.
2. To make petticoat tails, press the mixture into a greased fluted tart tin with a loose removable base. Use half the quantities in the recipe and bake for one hour at 150C. Leave to cool for fifteen minutes, then cut into wedges.
3. To make individual biscuits, roll the dough out to the thickness of a pound coin on a floured surface.
4. Cut out your biscuits, then re-roll the dough, before cutting out the next lot of biscuits.
4. Line your baking trays with baking paper. Bake the biscuits for 17 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from the trays.
5. To make fingers, press the dough into a loose bottomed square tin and bake for an hour at 150C. Sprinkle generously with sugar and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into eighteen fingers. (Make two horizontal cuts and five vertical ones.) Below is a batch my mum made. I don’t think the dimples are authentic to anywhere but they look quite nice and collect sugar too.
6. Jazz up your shortbread by adding one of the following: dried lavender, ground Earl Grey tea, chocolate chips or lemon or orange zest.