Easy Buttery Basic Shortbread Cookies are great start to bake with your kids. Made with just 3 ingredients, these homemade cookies are also delicious as Christmas presents too!
Shortbread Cookies have always been one of our favourite cookies – they are buttery, rich, tender and crumbly biscuit often made for homemade presents for Christmas and New Year. My kids are huge fan of Walkers shortbread biscuits that originate from Scotland. So when we are not baking these easy shortbread biscuits at home, we end up buying boxes of the delicious shortbreads.
I love my buttery cookies plain, but my kiddos love the Royal shortbreads occasionally dipped in melted chocolates too!
These buttery cookies are really special, as these are one of my first bakes! Don’t forget to check out my learnings from Cookie Disasters further down the post. This will be handy for first time bakers!
Every time I travelled to India, I would make parcels of these homemade eggless shortbread cookies for my parents, parents in law and grandparents. I would see the whole lot of these goodies vanish in minutes.
Fast forward to 10 years hence, they still request for these parcels of joy!
Now that my son is approaching his teen, he is carrying forward the tradition of baking these delightful shortbread. The whole process was exciting for him and now he loves it! He also loves making these Fairy Cakes with oil recipe every week.
PS – Updating one of my first post from July 2010. This updated post has cookies made by my 12 years old lad!
WHAT IS SHORTBREAD COOKIES?
Originated in Scotland, Shortbreads are thin, crisp, buttery straw color shortbread with Petticoat Tails! Dough is rolled into a uniform thickness and then cut with a round mould with edges and hence the name “Petticoat tails was given”.
You can always make these cookies in different shapes and sizes to your liking.
These cookies use a special ratio – 3:2:1
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR BASIC SHORTBREAD
Plain Flour or All Purpose Flour
Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature – Butter should not be too hard or too soft as its about to melt. It should be soft at room temperature. Cut the butter into cubes, when it still cold – this makes it easier for the butter to soften quickly.
Sugar – Icing Sugar or Confectioners Sugar – Don’t have icing sugar, its so easy to make it at home.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN POWDERED SUGAR / ICING SUGAR / CONFECTIONERS SUGAR?
To make powdered Sugars at home, add the granulated sugar to a blender jar. Blend the sugar to a fine fluffy powder. Use this prepared icing sugar immediately or store them in an airtight container for later.
SHORTBREAD COOKIE DISASTERS
Well, as much as I make my shortbreads perfectly now – I have had my share of shortbreads disaster in early years. Cookie would spread and flatten like a thin biscuit while baking. This happened because of many reasons
Not Chilling the cookie dough enough – The key step is to chill the cookie dough until it firms up.
Using the wrong measurement of Ingredients – When I mention 3:2:1 – this ratio measures the weight of the ingredients in cups. I remember using this ratio in grams and it was all a mess.
Not rolling it evenly – Rolling the cookies evenly needs a bit of practice. Now when I was teaching my son to make these, he rolls the dough to flatten the edges too, so the cookies are not even in thickness. As a result of this – some cookies will be thick and some will be thin, but they were still so delicious! This is all a part of the learning curve.
Slicing the Cookies after making a log – Now this does not work for making shortbreads. We are not using any rising agent, so we purely rely on the cookie dough to firm up in the refrigerator.
Cookies spread out too much – Culprit for thin cookies is the temperature of the butter. Butter should be softened – in a way that it’s not too soft or just about to melt. If that’s the case, place the butter back in refrigerator and chill until you achieve the temperature desired.
Cookies are stuck together – Space the cookies out on a baking sheet. Give them space to grow and spread.
WHY DO YOU POKE HOLES IN SHORTBREAD BISCUIT?
Poking holes in Shortbread is a choice. This is to ensure the cookies do not fluff up during cooking. Also, so that the cookies cook up evenly. For variation, we like to poke holes and sprinkle some caster sugar on the top.
YOU WILL ALSO LOVE THESE COOKIES & CAKES
- 2 Cups Plain Flour
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 Cup Icing Sugar or Confectioners Sugar
- Vanilla Extract ( optional )
- Sift the plain flour and icing sugar and set them aside in bowls.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter at room temperature and beat until the butter is smooth and creamy.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat until smooth.
- Now add the flour and beat until just well combined.
- Collect the dough in a cling film and refrigerate for at least 30-40 minutes until firm. ( optional ) . This step is necessary if your dough is bit too soft or not coming together.
- Divide the dough into 2 and roll each of them between the parchment paper until 1/4 thickness.
- Chill them for 30-40 minutes until firm. Using a desired cookie cutter, cut the chilled cookies and place them on a baking sheet.
- Scrap the extras and do it all over again. Place the cut cookies back in the refrigerator until your oven is preheated.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake for 14-15 minutes until the shortbreads are lightly browned. Allow them to cool on a wire rack.
- Store them in an airtight cookie jar for up to 3 weeks at room temperature.