All-butter shortbread

Diana Henrys decadent shortbread biscuits are rich and delicious see her tips for adding a little flavour twist to these classic teatime treats
By Diana Henry
All-butter shortbread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 18 - 20 biscuits
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 225 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 pinches salt

Tips and Suggestions

You can flavour these biscuits with anything you like. To make anise scented or lavender shortbread, add 4 star anise, ground to a fine powder, or 2 tsp dried lavender (which you should grind to a powder) along with the sugar. A little orange or rose flower water also gives you lovely scented shortbread. Rose shortbread is lovely if sprinkled with crushed crystallized rose petals.

Method

1. Put the butter and icing sugar into a mixer and beat on a low speed for about 30 seconds. If adding flavouring (see cooks note), this is when to add it.

2. Add the flour and salt and beat again on a low speed for about 4 minutes.

3. Bring the dough together in your hands and roll into a ball. Knead very lightly on a floured work surface and roll out into a sheet 1cm thick.

4. Preheat the oven to 130C/gas 1.

5. Cut out rounds with a 6cm biscuit cutter and transfer onto a couple of sheets of baking parchment set on a baking sheet, making sure there is plenty of space between each biscuit. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

6. Bake the shortbread in the oven for 45 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. The biscuits will still seem soft and be very pale when theyre done, but will harden as they cool.

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