How to Make Shortbread Cookies

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Have you ever wanted to know how to make shortbread cookies? Perhaps you've enjoyed eating bakery made or shop bought versions and fallen in love with their buttery taste and crumbly texture? Then you might be pleased to know it's surprisingly quick and easy to do, using the recipe below and only three ingredients!

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

Okay, so traditionally, shortbread was just shortbread -- full stop -- and 'shortbread cookies' were never a thing. But times change, and things evolve. Now, shortbread cookies (or biscuits, as we say in the UK) are a thing. And you have to admit, it's a convenient phrase for describing shortbread that's rolled thin and then cut into shapes using biscuit or cookie cutters before baking.

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

Although shortbread is practically synonymous with Scotland, it has gained popularity in many parts of the world and inspired a variety of tea time treats. And once you've had a taste of its buttery and crumbly deliciousness, it's not hard to see why!

Approaches to making shortbread vary, but one thing is certain - you must use the best butter you can get. So much of the flavour comes from the butter, so you really don't want to skimp here. The recipe below shows you how to make shortbread cookies with three staple ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard, anyway. It couldn't be easier.

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies are also great for making in advance and keeping in your freezer for emergencies(!). Simply cut out your shapes, put them in the freezer until hardened, and store in an airtight container until ready to bake. I tend to pop the dough shapes into the freezer for a few minutes before baking, anyway, just to firm them up, so they spread less during baking, and the cookies retain their shape better.

My favourite thing is to make mini shortbread cookies, as it makes me feel less guilty about having two (or five) in a row. Honestly. I challenge you to stop at just one. This is also a fun bake to do with children - you can bring out all your favourite cutter shapes and even decorate the cookies after baking.

Shortbread cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to a week (ours rarely last that long!), and the texture will become even more satisfyingly crumbly with time.

If you're looking to make classic thick shortbread, have a look at my recipe for how to make shortbread.

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

Here's how to make shortbread cookies with just three basic ingredients:
(Click here to jump straight to the recipe)

200g salted butter, softened
280g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

And here's what you'll need to do:

  • Soften the butter to room temperature - cutting it into smaller cubes will speed up the process.
  • If you're baking now, preheat the oven to 170C (340F) / 150C Fan.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon. If the butter in properly softened, this should be fairly easily done.
  • Add the flour, and work it into the butter mixture using the wooden spoon or your fingers, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • You could also use a food processor for this initial bit - put the butter, sugar and flour into the bowl of your food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Using your hands, bring the flour mixture together, kneading a few times until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Line your work surface with a sheet of baking parchment, and dust it with a bit of flour.
  • Roll your dough into a thin layer directly on the parchment, about 4mm (1/8in) thick. If your dough has warmed up too much, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.
  • Cut out your cookie shapes. If you're going to bake straight away, leave approximately 2cm (3/4in) between the shapes, and transfer the parchment onto a baking sheet. Since I usually firm the cookies in the freezer before baking, I cut the shapes close together and reposition before they go into the oven.
  • If you're cutting cookies in advance to bake later, freeze them now and then transfer to an airtight storage container.
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Remove them from the oven, and cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to  cool completely.
  • Sprinkle with caster sugar whilst still warm.
  • And that's how to make shortbread cookies with only three basic ingredients! Serve and enjoy with a hot cuppa!
How to Make Shortbread Cookies

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

By

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

Learn how to make shortbread cookies with this super easy recipe using only three ingredients.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 580g of dough
Course: Tea Treat, Snack
Cuisine: Scottish, Modern European
Tags: Shortbread Biscuits, Scottish

Ingredients

200g salted butter, softened
280g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Method

  1. Soften the butter to room temperature - cutting it into smaller cubes will speed up the process.
  2. If you're baking now, preheat the oven to 170C (340F) / 150C Fan.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon. If the butter in properly softened, this should be fairly easily done.
  4. Add the flour, and work it into the butter mixture using the wooden spoon or your fingers, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. You could also use a food processor for this initial bit - put the butter, sugar and flour into the bowl of your food processor, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  6. Using your hands, bring the flour mixture together, kneading a few times until it forms a smooth dough.
  7. Line your work surface with a sheet of baking parchment, and dust it with a bit of flour.
  8. Roll your dough into a thin layer directly on the parchment, about 4mm (1/8in) thick. If your dough has warmed up too much, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.
  9. Cut out your cookie shapes. If you're going to bake straight away, leave approximately 2cm (3/4in) between the shapes, and transfer the parchment onto a baking sheet. Since I usually firm the cookies in the freezer before baking, I cut the shapes close together and reposition before they go into the oven.
  10. If you're cutting cookies in advance to bake later, freeze them now and then transfer to an airtight storage container.
  11. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Remove them from the oven, and cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Sprinkle with caster sugar whilst still warm.
  13. And that's how to make shortbread cookies with only three basic ingredients! Serve and enjoy with a hot cuppa!

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