Traditional Rich Scottish Shortbread Biscuits - Cookies
16-24 Shortbr ...
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12 ounces plain flour
4 ounces caster sugar
8 ounces butter
Extra caster sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl, and then rub in the butter - as if you were making shortcrust pastry. Use the tips of your fingers and ensure that all the butter has been rubbed in -- it should resemble sand!
Then start to knead the paste, pushing it together to form a smooth dough - the heat of your hands whilst kneading helps it form.
Divide the shorbread dough into two equal parts and shape them into balls, then flatten them out into two rounds - using the heel of your hand, to about 7" in diameter and 1/4" thick.
Mark the top into equal portions - triangular in shape, and then prick the tops all over with a fork - making patterns if you wish! Crimp the edges as you would a pie crust to make a decorative edge and place them onto a well greased baking tray or cookie sheet.
(You can also use a greased and lined 7" or 8" fluted edged round sandwich/cake tin - preferably with a loose bottom for ease of taking the shortbread out. Press the dough into the tin and mark out as above).
Roll out the shortbread dough, and shape into a rectangle, about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Place onto a well greased baking tray or cookie sheet as before, and mark into "fingers" -- prick over with a fork again. You can also press the dough into an 8" square baking/sandwich/brownie tin - and then mark out the fingers as above.
(Please Note: The fingers are always thicker than the petticoat tails and shortbread rounds).
Roll out the shortbread dough and using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut into rounds of about 2" to 3" in diameter, about 1/4" in thickness. Place them on a well greased baking tray or cookie sheet.
Wooden Shortbread Mould:.
You can also place the dough into a decorative wooden shortbread mould, before turning it out on to a greased baking tray. Traditional Scottish wooden moulds can be bought online and usually have a Thistle design with heavily fluted edges.
Bake the any of the above shortbread biscuits in a pre-heated oven 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for between 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are pale and golden - but NOT brown!
Sprinkle extra caster sugar over the top as soon as they come out of the oven if you wish.
Allow the shorbread bicuits to cool slightly on a cooling rack, before cutting into fingers or "petticoat tails".
Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight tin or container. NB: These will last for about 10 to 14 days in a cool, dry and dark pantry. They can also be frozen with great results!