Shortbread Cookie Recipe

This shortbread cookie recipe uses just butter. This makes lovely crispy Scottish shortbread which I like to cut into thin cookies for afternoon tea.

I like to add a little semolina or rice flour to shortbread.

Traditional shortbread would be made with 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. This dough is quite difficult to handle and roll out thinly and is better suited to making a shortbread round, which you can then cut into petticoats.

For making cookies, I find it much easier to handle with the semolina.

That said, I think the flavour of the ones without the semolina is superior. But the ones with semolina are more crunchy.....

Shortbread cookies can be dusted with sugar to serve.

They can also be dipped into melted chocolate, or you can drizzle chocolate over them in a zig-zag, which is very pretty.

Buy the best quality butter that you can.

The quality of the butter most definitely makes a difference with these cookies. Because this shortbread cookie recipe uses such basic ingredients, flour, sugar and butter, you can really taste the butter.

We have found a supply of organic Amish butter, which has the most amazing flavour.

If you can find a supply of organic farmer's butter, just lightly salted, your shortbread will be the envy of everyone!

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Level: Easy
Time: 25 minutes not including cooling
Makes 15 tiny cookies

55g (1/4 cup) butter
25g (1 1/2 tablespoons) sugar
55g (1/3 cup) plain flour
25g (2 tablespoons) fine semolina or rice flour

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300F. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (baking parchment).

  • Beat the butter in a bowl until it is nice and soft.

  • Add the sugar and cream thoroughly.

  • Sift the flour into  the mixture and beat together.

  • Finally, add the semolina and beat that in until it comes together as a dough. You will need to finish this off with your hands. The dough should leave the bowl clean when it is ready.

  • Roll the dough onto a surface dusted with a little flour. Roll out thinly to about 3mm and cut shapes with a 2" cutter.

  • Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet and bake near the top of the oven for 15 minutes.

  • Shortbread should not be overcooked, so there just needs to be a faint tinge of colour to the biscuit and they are done.

  • Leave to cool on the tray for five minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight tin. They will keep for a couple of days, if you can bear to wait that long!

Serve with

Delicious with sencha green tea, hibiscus or any black tea.

We usually serve these pretty little cookies as part of full afternoon tea. Try them with dark chocolate cupcakes, jam tarts, egg salad sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches and ham sandwiches served with Lapsang Souchong.

Or cut them into hearts and serve at a Valentine's afternoon tea - or a tea party for a special princess..... They're shown below with Apple Roses and heart shaped finger sandwiches. They look so pretty in a little silver bowl.