Shortbread is an easy holiday table treat. If you don't have your own family recipe to fall back on, here is a great one inspired by Tea at Fortnum & Mason. Rice flour is the secret ingredient that gives the shortbread a nice crisp texture. Take care not to overwork the dough because the butter will become greasy and will give an oily finish to the biscuit. Otherwise, this is a never-fail recipe.
Course Afternoon Tea
Cuisine Edwardian, English, Scottish, Victorian
Keyword Afternoon Tea, Christmas Desserts, Fortnum and Mason
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour and rice flour and use a wooden spoon to work all the ingredients together to make a paste. Knead lightly.
Press the mixture into the tin, using the back of a spoon to smooth down the surface. Use a table knife to draw a line down the middle vertically, then mark six lines across horizontally to make 14 fingers. Prick each one with a fork.
Bake for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and mark again. Return to the oven and continue to bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is set.
Mark into the 14 fingers again then sprinkle with a light dusting of sugar. Cool in the tin for about 30 minutes, the fingers should snap right off without cutting again. Carefully remove them from the pan.
Cut into Rounds
Alternatively you can roll out the dough and cut rounds and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 60 minutes.
Finish cooling the shortbread on a wire rack then store in an airtight container for up to three days.
*caster sugar is a super fine sugar. If you don’t have any, you can make your own by putting sugar in a blender or food processor.