There are two bakes that signal the beginning of the Christmas season in my house. First is my great aunt’s Christmas cake (for which the recipe is top secret!) and the second is my grandmother’s shortbread! I usually bake the shortbread a few weeks before Christmas, because they are even better when aged. The problem is that they disappear way before they are supposed to! I have even taken to hiding them over taping up the cookie tin as a signal not to eat them yet, but a cookie monster or two in our house still manages to get into them! Thankfully they are extremely easy to make.
These cookies are simple in flavour, but tantalizingly delicious nonetheless! I think there are two factors that make this a successful and timeless recipe. The first is the inclusion of a small amount of rice flour. This lowers the gluten content in the cookie, giving them their “short” texture. The second is the low and slow cooking process. The cookies are baked at 275F until they are well dried out, but not yet golden, which adds to the crumbly texture.
If you try this recipe, be careful of the cooking time. You want the cookies to be well well dried out to the touch (undercooked shortbread is not good) but not browned (overcooked is not good either!)
Shortbread CookiesIt’s not Christmas in our house until I bake a batch (or two) of my grandmother’s shortbread cookies! This simple recipe produces a cookie that is balanced and crumbly as shortbread should be. The addition of rice flour, lowers the gluten content, giving the cookie it’s “short” texture and the low and slow cooking ensures a perfectly dried out cookie without caramelizing the sugar in the cookie. This recipe makes and ample amount of shortbread so you can share with family and friends!
- Preheat oven to 275 F/135 C
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours and salt.
- Pour the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix until well combined and the mixture forms a cohesive dough. If you have a stand mixer, you can do this with your paddle attachment. To mix by hand, use a wooden spoon.
- Divide the dough into two portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough to a 1/4 inch/1 cm thick. Cut out rounds that are between 2.5- 3 inches/6.5-8 cm place on ungreased cookie sheets. You can fit about 12 cookies per sheet. Re-roll the dough as needed until it has all been used.
- Bake until the cookies are thoroughly dried out and are just beginning to get a hint of golden colour, rotating the trays halfway through the baking time. About 25-30 minutes. Do not overtake. The shortbread shouldn't be browned.
- Transfer the shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely. The shortbread can be eaten the same day, but are best if you wait a day. Stored in an airtight container, the cookies can keep for at least a month.