As soon as December comes around I get asked this question. Sarah, when are you making Shortbread? I first made this at school when I was about 10 years old & I have made it every Christmas ever since! The recipe is simple & it's the same one I've used for 30 years (there I've given away my age!) The use of proper butter is essential for the lovely crumbly texture, & I make it in sandwich tins but you can use a baking sheet with raised sides if you prefer.
Makes 16 slices, approx 7p each
Prep 15 mins Cooking 30-40 mins
250g soft-ish butter, chopped
75g caster sugar
335 plain flour
Pre-heat the oven to 140 Fan/160C/Gas 3.
Grease & line 2 sandwich tins with baking paper.
Beat the butter & sugar together until smooth. You can use a fork or electric beaters.
Sift in the flour & rub into the butter & sugar mixture with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Bring the mixture together to form a dough & knead gently on a floured surface until smooth.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts & press them into the tins with your hands. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon, then using a sharp knife gently score the pressed out dough into 8 equal slices (try not to cut all the way through).
Make a nice pattern around the edges if you like, show off your artistic side!
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until just golden.
Remove from the oven & cut each tray into 8 slices while the shortbread is still soft.
After about 5 minutes remove from the tin & place the slices on a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar & serve or keep in an airtight container for about 4-5 days (if it lasts that long!)