A great shortbread cookie has a mouthwateringly buttery taste and a crumbly texture. Homemade is far better than store-bought, with real butter flavor and a more tender and delicate texture. Enjoy with coffee or serve at a tea party!
Some folks have asked about the rice flour. Shortbread is often made with a combination of rice flour and normal flour, and sometimes you see recipes with cornflour (cornstarch). Rice flour makes the shortbread a little more tender, though some people can’t discern the difference. If you do not have rice flour, you can certainly substitute with plain/all-purpose flour.
While shortbreads can be baked into fingers, we also like the circle or “petticoat” style, which is divided into slices.
3 cups sifted flour (plain/all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 pound salted butter, softened
6 tablespoons sugar (castor or superfine)
pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
Set oven to 400°F.
Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flours together and add salt if you’re using unsalted butter. Ideally, sift the dry ingredients a couple times. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Add the sifted ingredients and mix by hand until you have a soft dough. Be careful not to knead and overhandle or the shortbread won’t have as delicate a taste.
Shape into medium-thick, round cakes the size of a saucer, place on cookie sheets, prick with a fork, and flute the edges.
Or, press into a large circle about 8 to 10 inches across and about 3/4 inch thick. Mark out 16 ‘slices’ with a knife (just don’t cut all the way through) and put this on the cookie sheets. Or you can use any round cake pan. Prick dough with a fork and flute the edges with your thumb and forefinger.
Or, instead of a large circle, you can press the dough into squares and smaller circles the size of a saucer.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight cookie tin or container.