Shortbread rounds

My last blog was lemon syllabub and I did suggest you could serve it with ginger biscuits.  However this recipe for shortbread rounds is also perfect to serve with lemon syllabub.  The sweet crunch contrasts nicely with the lemon creaminess of the syllabub and complements it beautifully.  You can cut these into rounds or if you prefer fluted rounds or fingers, or whatever you prefer.

It is said that Scottish shortbread developed from medieval biscuit bread, which was a twice-baked, enriched bread roll dusted with sugar and spices and hardened into a rusk (soft, sweetened biscuit). After a time butter was substituted for yeast, and shortbread was born. Since butter was such an important ingredient, the word “shortbread” derived from shortening. Shortbread may have been made as early as the 12th Century, however its invention is often attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th Century. Petticoat tails were a traditional form of shortbread said to be enjoyed by the queen.  Originally shortbread was considered a luxury and only enjoyed during special celebrations or Christmas.

Ingredients (makes 20-24 shortbread)

125g/4oz butter
55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g/6oz plain flour

Method

Heat the oven to 170C fan/190C/375F/Gas 5.

  1. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  2. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
  3. Cut into rounds or fingers and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  5. If desired you can sprinkle a little more sugar on after they come out of the oven.
  6. Enjoy!

Tip: this recipe could come in very handy if you want to make a homemade gift.

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