Tag Archives: shortbread

Delicate piped shortbread cookies

I have had a bit of an obsession with shortbread since I made Christmas cookies, and I have found a recipe that makes a cookie lighter than air and that literally dissolves on your tongue.

Ingredients (makes about 25 cookies)

  1. 125g butter at room temperature – get the best you can buy because you can really taste it
  2. 35g icing sugar
  3. 50g cornflour
  4. 90g plain flour
  5. Good pinch of salt if using unsalted butter


  1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy
  2. Add the flours and mix on low speed till you get a soft dough
  3. Pipe shapes on to a cookie tray lines with parchment paper
  4. Put into the fridge for 30 minutes to help them keep their shape while they bake
  5. Heat oven to 180C while cookies are in the fridge and bake straight from the fridge for 20 minutes until golden brown

Delicate Shortbread Christmas Cookies

I’ve made shortbread with rice flour before, and this time I substituted half a cup of plain flour with cornflour to make the shortbread melt in your mouth (rather than have the crispy texture you get with rice flour). Use the best quality butter you can find because you can really taste it in shortbread. I also use a vanilla bean paste but you can use pure vanilla extract. Just don’t use anything labeled “imitation” – apart from being made in a lab, it leaves a bitter aftertaste.

These rich, tender cookies go perfectly with a nice hot cup of tea.

Ingredients makes about 40 stars

  1. 250g unsalted butter at room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt (I think every sweet thing needs salt for balance, so it might be a bit heavy for some, adjust to your own taste)
  5. 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  6. 1/2 cup cornflour


  1. Cream the butter till light and creamy (about 1 minute)
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating for another 2 minutes
  3. Stir flours into the butter/sugar mix until just combined
  4. Put the dough onto a large piece of clingfilm, shaping into a rectangle as you go, wrap/cover and let rest in the fridge for an hour
  5. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
  6. Roll the delicate dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch and cut out whatever shapes you want. Dip the cutter into a bowl of flour before you cut each cookie to help you get the dough out of the cutter
  7. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and decorate with any sugar or silver cachous you want
  8. Bake for 10 minutes till lightly brown
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely
  10. You can decorate with any icing once cooled if you fancy

Christmas shortbread stars

Christmas shortbread stars

When the tree goes up in our household, I begin to really feel like it’s Christmas and I can get excited about the whole festive season – for me, it’s about family, presents, and eating yummy treats that you don’t get the rest of the year.

It’s also when I make shortbread cookies.  There is absolutely no reason why I don’t make them more often – they are so easy and so much fun to make.  Perhaps it’s because although I tend to like making things where I can get my hands grubby, I prefer to make more savoury things, like pizza dough.

I use a recipe that a friend of mine from Australia gave me, just because of its simplicity.  There are just six ingredients.  Butter, icing sugar, vanilla, salt, plain flour and rice flour.  And because there are so few ingredients, you can really taste the quality of the ingredients you use, particularly the butter and vanilla (read: buy the best you can afford)

Rice flour is added here for added “crunch”.  I’ve read that you can replace the rice flour with cornflour for a more melt-in-your-mouth texture.

This would be a great recipe to make with kids – especially the decorating.

Merry Christmas and here’s to a new year of more eating!

Ingredients makes about 60 6cm stars

  • 250g block unsalted butter at room temperature (you can use salted butter and not add salt but I think unsalted tastes better)
  • A good tbs vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • good generous pinch of salt
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour


  1. Cream butter and sifted sugar until light and creamy
  2. Add vanilla and salt and mix well
  3. Stir in combined flours and mix with your hands to combine to a crumbly dough
  4. Turn out on to a sheet of baking paper and press into a ball.
  5. Rollout dough between two sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thick and with a star cookie cutter (or whatever shape you fancy), cut biscuits from dough and place on a baking paper-lined tray
  6. You can decorate before they go into the oven with demerara sugar and silver cachous or after by dipping into melted chocolate (although you may want to temper your chocolate first)