Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Shortbread

I don't make a huge variety of biscuits/cookies. I don't really find the need. Shortbread makes a great base and is so dependable. Quick and easy to make.  Endless flavour variations and a lovely light buttery crunchy mouthful. Perfect on it's own with a cup of tea or made very thin to accompany a dessert. The basic recipe came from Rita who lives away up in the far North of Scotland. A proper shortbread recipe.


Shortbread Trivia

In Shetland a decorated shortbread was traditionally broken over a bride’s head before she entered her new home.

Shortbread was classified as a bread by bakers to avoid paying the tax placed on biscuits.

The Scottish custom of eating shortbread on New Year’s Eve derives from an ancient pagan ritual of eating Yule Cakes.

January 6th of each year is National Shortbread Day.


Basic Shortbread

8oz/225gms butter
4oz/100gms caster sugar
8oz/225gms plain flour
4oz/100gms cornflour
for a denser biscuit or rice flour for a crisper lighter texture
pinch of salt


Cream softened butter and sugar.
Add the sifted flours and salt gradually and mix well

Turn out onto a floured worktop and knead lightly into a round

Roll out and cut into biscuits
Or
Roll into a long cylinder, wrap in cling film and set in the fridge for about 30 minutes then slice into biscuits.
Bake at 350F /180.C /160.C Fan/ Gas 4 for about 15 - 20 mins or until golden
Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm.

Makes about 30 biscuits with a small cutter

Variations:

Chocolate 
Replace 50gms/2 oz flour with cocoa and/or add chocolate chips.
Orange
Add grated rind of and orange (this is lovely with the chocolate)
Lemon
Add grated rind of a lemon
Spice
Add sweet spice in any combination or on it's own such as cinnamon, mixed spice or ginger.


Use soft brown sugar to give a hint of caramel
Add earl grey tea
Lavender
Rose


The possibilities are endless. Just a little imagination. They can be as plain or fancy as you like.





22 comments:

kenju said...

I don't bake much at all, but this I know I would like!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love shortbreads! Those look delicious.

Cheers,

Rosa

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

oooh, I love the idea of adding orange rind to the chocolate ones... methinks I may be making these this weekend!... love your presentation too!

manu said...

They're so cute! I love the pic

Rhyleysgranny said...

Kenju - They are so simple and lovely results. :)

Rosa - I too love shortbread

Dom - I love chocolate and orange together too. Lovely mix.

manu - I wasn't that happy with the pic. I did think it came out looking like a pic out of an old retro cookery book LOL

Sophie said...

These look really yummy, love the pic with the alternating plain/choc. You might be interested in the guardian's guide to perfect shortbread: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/sep/30/how-to-make-perfect-shortbread?CMP=twt_gu

Rhyleysgranny said...

Sophie - Thank you for that. How very interesting. I enjoyed reading it. I have bookmarked it too. I love trying different ways with things. :)

Brownieville Girl said...

I really love shortbread, and always go for the rice flour option (give me light and crispy every time!!!)

I'm going to give the chocolate flavoured one a try very soon - imagine I've never thought of them!

Thanks for another great idea :-}

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

What a great foundation for shortbread you have presented us with. I usually make cookies for Christmas and these will be a wonderful addition to the bunch. Thanks again!

Grannymar said...

I like shortbread and you have given me plenty of ideas for my next batch!

Mary said...

Hi , i was just looking around for new bisciut recipes and this is just perfect!

Lucie said...

This looks divine! Now I feel so guilty about buying M&S shortbread today :) I will redeem myself by making some of this soon!






Dr.Sameena Prathap
said...

Hey,

That looks awesome...What is about the violet's pantry...:)Let me know...:)

Dr.Sameena@

http://www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

Crepes of Wrath said...

These are adorable! My husband isn't a big shortbread fan, but maybe this will change his mind!

George@CulinaryTravels said...

Lovely pic Brenda. I've just been blogging about shortbread too :)

C said...

They look lovely and the presentation is gorgeous - I can just imagine receiving a gift like that. I love all your different ideas for variations too - yum!

Gloria said...

These look fantastic Brenda, I love chocolate and orange, look yummy! gloria

Rhyleysgranny said...

BVG - You trying the choccie option? No0w there's a surprise :)

Beyond My Kitchen - I always have shortbread for Christmas. The dough freezes well ready to just cut out later

Grannymar - Yes shortbread would be grand for your dietary requirements.

Mary - I am glad you like. Thank you

Lucie - M&S make very good shortbread. :)

Dr. S - Nice to see you here. Just apply to the pantry at the top of the page. Just a small foodie based forum.

Crepes - Funny how we always bake and cook for the men in out life :)

George - Your shortbread looks stunning

C - Thank you so much

Gloria - Thank you x

Choclette said...

You're so right, there is no biscuit quite as good as shortbread. What a fantastic picture you've made of your box of alternating shortbread flavours - looks highly professional.

Sarah said...

This is a great xmas tip. I have about 580 of these containers. So I could at least get rid of 20 of them as xmas presents. Wouldn't have thought of using them this way. Great tip, thanks. :-) sarah x

Anonymous said...

Dear Granny,
I would really love to try to make these lovely shortbread, but I wonder if I can substitute the cornflour or riceflour with ground almond to make almond shortbread biscuits?
Thanks for your recipe, I have made the most wonderful soft bread rolls the other day!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Anonymous - I wish I knew your name. I am so glad you enjoyed the rolls. It's lovely to get the feed back. Great idea about the ground almonds. It would work perfectly. I would reduce the amount to about 2 oz and make the rest up with ordinary flour or cornflour. Ground almonds are soooo expensive. x