The success of a ‘shortie’ – as shortbread is also known – is to handle the dough with care. Do not pound or knead heavily, and make sure your hands and the dishes you use are cold. The resulting shortbread will then be light and crumbly with a dense buttery taste. Choose the method you prefer for ‘rolling’ out the dough. You can either roll with a pin, or press directly into a tin or a shortbread mould if you have one.
2 ¼ sticks / 225g butter
Tiny pinch of salt
½ cup / 110g fine / caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 cups / 225g all-purpose / plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 ½ oz / 100g cornstarch / corn-flour
Preheat the oven to 325°F/170°C. In a large bowl cream together the butter, salt and sugar, until light and fluffy and pale in colour. This can take at least 10 minutes. Alternatively use a food mixer. Mix together the flour and cornstarch and sieve into the bowl of butter and sugar. Mix quickly and thoroughly to bring all the ingredients together but do not over mix. Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and bring knead lightly and quickly to form a loose dough. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to ¼”/1 cm thick. Prick the surface all over with a fork. Cut into desired shape or rounds using cookie cutters. Place the Scottish shortbreads on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until pale brown and crisp. Sprinkle the warm Scottish shortbreads with fine sugar and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Grease a Swiss roll tin 9″ x 13″/23 x 33cm with butter. Press the dough into the tin and press with your fingers to level the surface, prick all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. With the shortbread still in the tin, cut into squares or fingers, leave to cool for 15 minutes then carefully remove to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight tin or box. Cooking time; 25-45 minutes.
Ith do shàth!
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