Sarah’s Shortbread Recipe

To me there are few cookies more Christmassy than shortbread, so I thought I’d make up a big batch, and wrap them up really pretty to go in the young women’s christmas bags on sunday. I researched recipes for quite some time, and settled on two, which I thought looked really awesome! They only had 3-4 ingredients, and one only baked for 12 minutes, so this was definitely the type of cookie I wanted to make for a big group of 20 girls! I put my babes to bed around 8, and began working on them.

The first recipe looked the best, so I doubled the recipe to make a huge batch! I mixed flour and sugar and then blended the butter until the mixture was like sand. Then it said to pack it firmly in a baking dish: and poke it with holes and score it with a knife. It was just like writing in the sand! I thought this mixture was a little weird, but I couldn’t call it, because I have never made shortbread before… The recipe said to bake it for half an hour, and when they came  out of the oven, they looked okay….
But then I tried one… and it was one of the worst biscuits I have ever eaten in my life! The tops were SO sandy (In this picture I think I have dusted most of it off) and the base was ROCK HARD! They were really bad.

So then I tried recipe #2 which was thankfully completely different to the last! The ingredients were more or less the same but in different quantities, and the mixture came out much more dough-like. The recipe said to bake them for 12 minutes (instead of half an hour) and when I took them out of the oven they looked like this:

I couldn’t even get them out of the pan, because they were just SO SOFT!! They would just fall apart on me. So, the consistency was completely wrong, they didn’t look good- and they didn’t even taste that great… kind of salty, and not sweet at all. Yuk.

So then at 10.30pm my kitchen was a disaster, I had pans of bad short bread all over my counters, and nothing to contribute to the girls gift bags. But I was too tired at this point to make more. I just kind of sunk into my sectional, and was ready to unwind for a few minutes before bed….. but then for some crazy reason I thought: “I’m just going to try out my own shortbread recipe!” I had read so many recipes online, that I kind of knew the basic ingredients that went into short bread. Rice flour makes it a little more crunchy, so I knew that was going in. Real butter gives it that delicious, buttery taste! So I knew I wanted a lot of that. I also knew I wanted granulated white sugar! (No brown sugar, or icing sugar- that’s just weird!) And then some all purpose flour which was standard in every single recipe I read.

Both of the recipes I tried before required rubbing the butter and flour together by hand, but I was too tired for that. I stuck all of the ingredients into my kitchen aid and mixed it until it formed a nice looking dough:
 Then I cut them into bars and pricked holes in them with a fork, because that’s how traditional short-bread looks! I made a small batch of one pan, because I didn’t think they’d turn out that great….
Then I baked them at 325 for 30 minutes. Here’s how they turned out:
Absolutely PERFECT! I feel like goldilocks testing out the three bears beds! The first was much too hard, the second was much too soft, but the third was JUST RIGHT! It tastes like a combination of walker’s shortbread and English “nice” biscuits! I still have NO idea how I pulled that off, but i’m just super excited that I did!!!!

So after all this “talk” here’s my amazing shortbread recipe! Please try it and tell me what you think!

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
(the secret ingredient)

Cream the butter. Mix in the sugar. Add both flours and mix until well combined.
Press/roll out to 1/4 inch thick, and cut into bars. Prick with a fork 4/5 times on each bar. Bake at 325degF for 30 mins.

Sprinkle with sugar when they come out of the oven, then let cool. (They harden up slightly as they cool).

I dipped a couple in melted chocolate to see if I could make them even prettier and more delicious, and they were just really good either way! I also crushed up some candy canes and sprinkled it on top of the chocolate to make them even more festive, which worked. I had to post these right away so you could make them in time for Christmas! I never got round to putting any in the girls gift bags because just as I perfected them, I ran out of time and energy (but another leader made sugar cookies anyway, so I was saved!) But I will definitely get some out to my friends & neighbors this Christmas!

I really hope you love this recipe as much as I do!!!

Love, Sarah