Shortbread is one of the best Christmas recipes going around – which is why it graces the cover for our 17 December edition as the ultimate snack for Santa on Christmas Eve.
This shortbread recipe has been used by our food writer Libby’s family for years, and it always makes a great present or addition to any festive table.
Contrary to popular belief, this shortbread recipe can be changed up to suit dietary requirements without comprising its structural integrity too much. For a vegan version, Nuttelex will work in place of the butter, and gluten free flour can be used instead of the plain flour – adding more or less if necessary to achieve the right dough consistency.
These are best cut out into fun, festive shapes, but your dough can also be baked as one. To do this, press the dough into two lightly greased tins (around 18-20cm), pricking with a fork and marking the wedges before baking for around 40-45 mins.
Traditional shortbread recipe
250g butter, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup rice flour, sifted
2 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add flours and when the mixture becomes very stiff, use your hands (or a fork) to combine.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board or bench and knead until smooth. If it’s a little warm in your kitchen, you can wrap the dough in cling wrap and pop it into the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling it out.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the mixture to a thickness of about 1cm. Using a cookie cutter – I like to use stars or hearts in various sizes – cut out shapes and place onto the baking tray.
Bake for around 20 minutes and let the biscuits cool completely on a wire rack.
Once the biscuits are completely cooled, dust with icing sugar before serving. To pack them into a container or jar as a gift, separate each layer of biscuits with a sheet of baking paper.
For more festive food: