Dessert, Make, 2014-03-31

I visited London last week and therefore I made some cookies to enjoy the Eurostar trip. I chose to make some shortbread, a typical biscuit from the UK. Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture. This comes from an old meaning of the word short.  This recipe for shortbread is very easy, with ingredients that are always to hand and a taste that is sure to please family and friends. Making a good shortbread isn’t that difficult. The secret is to use a high quality butter and pure vanilla extract.

“This recipe is easily doubled.”

Shortbread dough is very versatile. After you’ve made the basic shortbread batter, you can add about 90 grams of chocolate chips to make chocolate chip shortbread. If you add just 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder to the batter, you get some coffee flavoured ones. All it takes to have a cinnamon flavored shortbread is to add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. 1 tablespoon of finely chopped orange or lemon zest will give you some nice citrus flavored shortbread. This recipe is also easily doubled. Just play along with it and make your favourite combinations.


  • 150 grams plain flour
  • 100 grams of good unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Pure vanilla extract to taste
  • 50 grams caster sugar


  1. Preheat oven 160°C
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt.  Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar in a bowl. Gradually mix in the flour in and use your hands to knead the dough together into a smooth ball.
  4. Chill the dough for at least half an hour or until firm.
  5. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. Place on baking tray.
  6. Bake for 10-15min, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with a little sugar while they cool.