Delicious shortbread

Shortbread.  The Scotts claimed to have ‘invented’ shortbread in the 12th century that evolved from medieval biscuit bread.  This biscuit bread was a twice-baked enriched bread roll dusted with sugar and spices and hardened into a rusk.  Eventually butter was substituted for yeast and it became shortbread, melting in your mouth.  Since butter was and still is such an important ingredient the word ‘shortbread’ derived from shortening.  Shortening being fat.  No wonder this biscuit is high in fat content.  But we’ll forget about that little fact when we eat it!

Apparently shortcake, not the same as shortbread, can be made by using vegetable fat instead of butter as well as using something like baking powder.  So shortbread is typically one part white sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour.  To alter the texture corn flour or even ground rice is sometimes added.  Shortbread biscuits are also great to take away because they hold their shape under pressure, unlike their egg-based cousin biscuits – so ideal for a packed lunch!

When our two daughters were still toddlers my mom gave me this biscuit-book as a gift – thoughtful granny!!!  And I think between us we have made most of the recipes in the book – and still do!

So with your mouths watering I’ll give you a shortbread recipe from this book called Butter Finger Biscuits.  It is delicious and you can also make it as a yummy homemade gift for someone special.  Just wrap some nice cellophane around it with a colourful ribbon!

Recipe from the Your Family Bumper Biscuit Book, compiled by Wendy Silver.

Recipe from the Your Family Bumper Biscuit Book, compiled by Wendy Silver.

300g butter, softened

180g castor sugar

400g flour (sifted)

Pinch of salt

100g corn flour sifted

Castor sugar for dredging

–       Cream together butter and castor sugar until pale and fluffy.

–       Sift together flour, salt and corn flour and mix into creamed ingredients. Knead lightly.

–       Press into deep, greased 380mm by 280mm baking tray.

–       Prick well with a fork and bake at 190 degrees C, 25 – 30 minutes.

–       Remove from oven and dredge with castor sugar.

–       Cut into fingers while still warm.

–       Remove to wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

–       Store in an airtight container. Makes about 44 fingers.

Happy baking!



2 thoughts on “Delicious shortbread

  1. O, ek gaan hierdie probeer. Het sowat ‘n maand gelede vir die eerste keer Skotse brosbrood probeer bak. Ek het ‘n vriendin se resep gevra en toe ek dit uiteindelik gekry het, toe gooi ek die papiertjie weg. Toe lees ek deur al my resepteboeke op soek na iets wat lyk na dieselfde. Dit was lekker (kry mens iets soos slegte brosbrood?) maar nie my vriendin s’n nie. Ek het groot geword met my skoonsus (jare ouer as ek) se “Divinity shortbread” maar toe leen sy haar resepteboek uit en toe raak die ding weg. So die laaste 25 jaar van my lewe bestaan uit die soek na en opspoor van brosbrood wat so divine proe soos kleintyd se brosbrood van skoonsus, Bev. Perhaps this is it.

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