Rick's Shortbread biscuits

Biscuits; GIF 28K

I like shortbread. Now, this recipe won't turn out a biscuit as good as a "Walkers" biscuit, but it isn't bad. And it is very easy to make.


  You will need the following ingredients:

  1. 4 oz. (125g) butter or margarine
  2. 2 oz. (65g) sugar, preferably caster sugar
  3. 8 oz. (250g) plain flour
  4. A pinch of salt
And the following equipment:
  1. An oven, heated to gas mark 3 (160 centigrade or 325 farenheit)
  2. A mixing bowl
  3. A wooden spoon
  4. An electric mixer, though not essential
  5. A wire mesh sieve, though not essential
  6. A rolling board and rolling pin
  7. A baking tray, lined with aluminium foil, then lightly floured
  8. A sharp knife
  9. A fork
  10. A weighing device - scales or an electronic gizmo


  Click here to begin.

Flour; GIF 39K


  Full list of instructions:

  1. Add the flour, butter, sugar and salt
  2. Stir well
  3. Roll out and cut into biscuits
  4. Cook until lightly browned
  5. Allow to cool, then eat...



Rick's Shortbread biscuits
Part 1 (of 5)

Take the flour and put it in the mixing bowl.
If you are using a wooden spoon, it is recommended that you sift the flour through a mesh strainer - to help remove lumps. If you are using a mixer, you do not need to do this.

Adding the flour; GIF 39K

Next, add your butter or margarine. As you can see from the picture, I am using one of these synthetic spreads - "Utterly Butterly". Which you choose depends upon taste.
Whichever type you choose, it must be softened. You can do this by wrapping the required amount in clingfilm and leaving it out on the kitchen counter for a while. If you are using a mixer, you can be more tolerant about how soft the butter or margarine actually is. Most synthetic spreads can be used straight from the fridge.

Adding the butter; GIF 40K

Now you should add your sugar. Don't be tempted to add extra sugar if you like it sweet, you can do this later on.
The sugar is quite hard to see in the picture. It is responsible for the peculiar texture of the butter lump.

Adding the sugar; GIF 24K

Finally, add a pinch of salt.



Rick's Shortbread biscuits
Part 2 (of 5)

Now you should mix your ingredients until it takes on a kind of soft dough-like appearance.

If you are using a wooden spoon, plan to be at it a while...

Mixing; GIF 40K

Or you could take the easy option and use an electric mixer. If you do mix, it is likely that after a few minutes the ingredients will have formed into hundreds of tiny lumps. Keep on mixing!

When the mixture comes together in one lump and starts to stall the mixer, it is ready. This happens when the sugar is broken down. If you used caster sugar, it should happen fairly quickly (within five minutes). If you use regular sugar, it will take a little bit longer.

Mixing, the easy way!; GIF 37K



Rick's Shortbread biscuits
Part 3 (of 5)

Take the dough and roll it out on a rolling board until it is about half an inch (1cm) thick; depending upon preference - try different sizes.

I have rolled out my dough on a piece of aluminium foil, because the dough and rolling board are pretty much the same colour! It is just to help you see it better in the picture.

Rolling; GIF 38K

Cut the rolled-out dough into a square shape. Place the off-cuts back in the mixing bowl. Then cut the dough square into biscuits. I chose to cut mine into biscuits approximately the size of a snack-sized Mars bar.

Cutting; GIF 43K

Transfer your cut biscuits to the baking tray. With a fork, prick the top of the biscuit on each side. This makes it look nice.
If you want, you can sprinkle some sugar on top of the biscuits. Press the sugar into the biscuit so it doesn't fall off.

Repeat these steps until all the dough is used.

The finished biscuit; GIF 43K



Rick's Shortbread biscuits
Part 4 (of 5)

Place the baking tray in the top of the oven. The biscuits should cook until they are lightly browned on top - this depends upon your oven, but should take around twenty minutes.

This is a good time to wash and tidy up from making the biscuits.

A cooked biscuit; GIF 39K

When the biscuits are ready, take the tray out of the oven using a towel or oven glove...



Rick's Shortbread biscuits
The final part

Your biscuit should be cooked and crunchy on the outside, and slightly soft on the inside. At least, that is how I like mine. How yours are depends upon your taste.

A cross-section; GIF 13K

Arrange your biscuits on a plate. Put some creativity into it, don't just plonk them down...

An arrangement; GIF 45K

And finally, the most enjoyable part: Eat them!

Biscuit dipping; GIF 28K

Please let me know how your biscuits turned out, and if you have come up with any ideas to improve the recipe.

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Copyright © 1999 Richard Murray