For the Celebrate issue of Sweet Magazine we spent a day in the kitchen with Nanna learning the secrets of a great shortbread. We got in a lot of trouble, did everything the wrong way, used the KitchenAid instead of our hands… but in the end we think we made some stellar shortbread – here’s the recipe!
Putting the Short in Shortbread
So what makes a shortbread short? The short-ness of any pastry refers to how crumbly it is. Short pastries are usually made by combining the fat content in the recipe with the flour before adding any binding liquids (like water or eggs). Combining the fat and flour prevents the gluten in the flower from joining, creating a short, tender pastry.
250g butter, salted
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup corn or rice flour
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celcius.
Using hand held beaters or an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Sift together flours to combine.
Add flour to the reamed butter and sugar and continue mixing slowly until almost combines.
Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Gently press the dough into a round disc.
Lightly flour your surface again to prevent sticking.
Working from the middle out to the edges, roll the dough with a large wooden rolling pin until about 1.5cm thick.
Cut shapes using cutters or templates, and gently transfer to baking trays.
The perfect gift for friends boxed up with a beautiful ribbon, or save for yourself with a cup of tea!