Recipe: Irish Shortbread

This must be the easiest shortbread recipe in the world! It makes the most deliciously decadent (take note of the amount of butter!) and crumbly shortbread and only takes about five minutes to make the dough, you don’t even need to line or butter the tin.  It does take a hour in the oven, but that’s an hour that you can spend drinking tea and watching the Bon Appetit You Tube channel (what I would like to have been doing this morning) or cleaning your kitchen and washing a million Tupperware boxes (what I actually did this morning).

I sometimes add different flavours or additions to this recipe to make it more seasonal or because I’m serving it with a certain dessert, we often serve it alongside lemon possets – a pretty perfect combo! It works especially well with lavender in the summer or with cranberry and dark chocolate in the winter. I’ve included some of the variations we’ve used below, but you could add all sort of combinations depending on your favourite flavours or what is in your store cupboard. It also works quite well as a gluten free shortbread, the biscuits are a bit more crumbly but they are still delicious.

This recipe was originally given to me by my Mum’s good friend Barbara, I’ve adjusted the quantities a bit and all the variations are my own.

Makes 30 x large (3cm x 6cm) or 60 x small (3cm x 3cm) biscuits

Ingredients:

315g Butter
350g Self-raising flour
120g Cornflour
120g Caster sugar
½ teaspoon Salt (if using unsalted butter)
Plus caster sugar for sprinkling

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140˚C.

Melt the butter until liquid, either in a saucepan over a low heat or in a microwave if you prefer.

While the butter is melting weigh out the self-raising flour, cornflour and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine the ingredients. Add the salt if you are using unsalted butter.

Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix well until there are no floury bits and a soft dough has formed. Press the dough into a 20cm x 30cm swiss roll tin or baking tray using your fingers, there is no need to butter or line the tin. If you are feeling fancy you can use a off-set palette knife to flatten the top of the dough for a very even top, but if you don’t have one don’t worry!

Bake at 140˚C until lightly golden, this should take approximately one hour.

Cut into rectangles or squares while still hot and leave to cool. Then remove from the tin and sprinkle with caster sugar to serve.

Variations:

Dark Chocolate and Cranberry: add 75g dark chocolate drops, 75g dried cranberries
Dark Chocolate and Pistachio: add 75g dark chocolate drops, 75g  chopped pistachios
Lavender: add 1.5 teaspoons of finely chopped lavender buds/flowers
Basil seed: add 1.5 tablespoons of basil seeds
Cinnamon: add 1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Gluten Free Version: Replace flour with gluten free plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder

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