Shortbread !


Jessica White

Crisp and buttery, these simple-to-make biscuits have long been a favourite. Meg's recipe uses cornflour/cornstarch for a creamier texture and rice flour to give a crisper bite. You don't mess with the classics - it took us 10 years to decide to add a pinch of salt! Enjoy with a cup of tea, or serve with whipped cream and fresh strawberries for a lovely summer dessert. 


165g / 11 tablespoons salted butter, firm but not hard

85g / scant ½ cup (caster) sugar

200g / 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour

5 teaspoons cornflour/cornstarch

35g /1/4cup rice flour

A pinch of salt

A 5cm/2inch round cookie cutter

baking sheet lined with baking parchment

Makes 20

Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) gas 3

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Sift the flour, cornflour/cornstarch and rice flour into another bowl, then add a quarter of the total flours to the creamed butter and stir in. Add another quarter of the flour and begin rubbing the mixture together using your fingertips. Add the remaining flour and mix again with your fingers. Knead gently into a malleable ball of dough. This can also be done by putting all the ingredients in a food processor and blending until it forms a smooth ball of dough.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out until about 1cm/1/2 inch thick (roll a little thinner if you are using the biscuits to make a strawberry dessert). Stamp out discs with the cookie cutter and arrange about 4cm/1 ½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll any leftover dough and cut out discs, as before, until all the dough is used up. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the bases of the biscuits are golden and the tops are almost firm to the touch. Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow them to cool and set on the baking sheet before eating or storing.

The cookies will keep for 7-10 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 2 months.

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