wOnKo's Real Shortbread

This is a variation on Grandma Bennet's recipe and is a simple, scaleable mix that tastes terrific - suitable as gift (because it is so nice and fairly quick to make).

Ingredients (a simple lesson in PROPORTIONAL WEIGHTS)

...so, in human friendly terms: 70g of sugar + 125g of butter + 200g of flour (125g of butter is a ¼ of a pat, so is a useful measure)


    1. Ensure the butter is at room temperature (so long as your room is not refrigerator cold - ie. it needs to be soft, NOT melted).

    2. Preheat the oven to Moderate (180 degrees C) and prepare oven trays/cookie sheets (I use silicon paper to prevent sticking/burning)

    3. Add flour and sugar to a bowl, mix briefly with a butterknife, then add the butter and cut it up until it cannot be seen in the flour mix - again, use a butter knife at this stage. Then with clean dry hands, work the mix until it comes together then stop handling it. It does NOT benefit from being kneaded!

    4. Either roll the dough out gently on a lightly floured surface and cut shapes out of it; form it into golf-ball size lumps, hand flatten and crimp the edges, pressing decorative shapes into the surface; divide the mix in 2 and hand form 2 large rounds, crimping the edges (to make "petticoat tails"), using a fork or butterknife to emboss radial lines (later to be where it will be broken prior to eat/serve).

      Do the forming on the baking trays so you do not have to hastle with moving them once done (is a brittle mix and will break up if moved before cooked and cold) - trying to handle it as little as possible.

    5. Sprinkle each with a little castor sugar then bake until just coloured. Allow to cool on the trays.

    6. Decorate further if you wish - delicious if half-dipped in a good quality melted chocolate, or dusted with icing sugar

    7. Store (if it will last) in an airtight tin, do NOT refrigerate as it will go soggy.

This shortbread is simple to make, requires few ingredients or talent to make, tastes like shortbread used to taste and is great with tea/coffee and is guaranteed to contain no calories unless you actually eat it.

SAFE for people with a GLUTEN INTOLERANCE if you substitute GLUTEN-FREE flour - in fact it is shorter and just as nice.

If the mixture is a little dry, add a little more butter until it is a nice pliable dough - avoid water or eggs as this mix tastes terrific without.

AVOID the temptation to try to make this with MARGARINE - lord knows what goes into margarine but these days it's moisture content [yes, it contains water] is too high and it's flavour is all wrong.


microwave NOT Suitable for microwaving. Let it cool completely before you eat it - it's texture improves as it cools off and if you leave it to cool on the trays, it is a little chewy also as opposed to just being short.
family Kid Friendly - this mixture is adaptable enough to mess with quite considerably - add pecans or chopped glace cherries if you like them, cut holes in the shapes you have made and stuff the holes with smashed boiled sweets - they melt and form "stained glass" patterns in the biscuits
which looks terrific (clear sweets melt the best).

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