December is one of my favourite months of the year, mostly for one reason: Christmas baking.
This is my first Christmas baking session of the season, and I’m extremely happy with the results. The perfect shortbread has always eluded me; I’ve made shortbread which is okay, but it’s generally a bit of a battle to get a decent final result. The dough is either too wet and sticks to the kitchen bench or too crumbly and falls apart whenever I try to roll it out. On Wednesday, though, I was given a quick and easy – possibly failsafe – recipe, and I’m very excited about it.
The recipe itself came courtesy of my lovely friend Lauren, who has been making it with her mother for years. The original recipe came from one of her grandmother’s old friends and has become the family favourite. This shortbread’s popularity isn’t surprising in the least; the dough itself is simple, fast and straightforward to make while the end result is crisp, melt-in-the-mouth buttery awesomeness. Try it. Seriously. You won’t regret it.
QUICK CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD
225g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4) and line three baking trays with greaseproof baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 – 3 minutes, until light and creamy in colour.
Sift together flour, cornflour and salt in a separate bowl and add to the creamed butter, mixing with a spoon to combine and then knead well to form a soft dough. The dough should be soft to touch but not sticky.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1.25cm (1/2 inch) thickness (you may like to split the dough into quarters and roll each quarter separately to make it easier to work with) and cut out shapes with cookie cutters – I used a star cutter and a Christmas tree cutter.
Place cookie cut-outs on the lined trays and bake for 25 minutes (start checking after 18 – 20 minutes, though) until the shortbread is a light fawn colour.