Shortbread Biscuits


Shortbread Biscuits

  • Servings: ±40 small biscuits
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Wrapped biscuits


  • 250g butter
  • ½c castor sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 3c plain white or wholewheat flour, or a mixture of both
  • Icing sugar for sifting

Optional flavouring additions:

Add any (or several) of the following – or anything else that takes your fancy really:

  • 2T brandy, rum or whisky
  • ½c flaked or nibbed almonds, or any other nut
  • ½c chocolate chips or dark chocolate, chopped up
  • 2T lavender flowers and leaves (not stalks), washed and very finely chopped
  • 100g dried fruit or glace cherries, chopped


Preheat your oven to 160°C, and cover a large, flat baking tray with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar well until light, pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla essence and whatever other flavouring you’re using.

Add half the flour and beat again, then add most of the remaining flour. Work it in with a spoon and then your hands – it gets very thick. Add the last of flour only if you need it i.e. if the dough is sticking to your hands. You should end up with a nice, smooth dough.

Pull off small pieces of dough and shape into balls. Place on the baking paper and press down gently with a fork. You can put them quite close together as they don’t rise.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Watch carefully after 25 minutes and check underneath – they should remain pale, although the bottoms may end up a bit darker. If you’re not sure, break one in half to check it’s cooked through, without being dry.

Take them out the oven and leave them on the tray to cool for just a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Move the baking paper to under the cooling rack to catch the overflow, and while they’re still warm, sift icing sugar over them – as much or as little as you like, or use none at all if you prefer.

Once they’re completely cool, pack them into a biscuit tin or wrap in a pretty box for a gift.


© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2015


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