60g caster sugar (2 oz)
125g butter, softened (4 oz)
185g plain flour (6 oz)
This is the recipe for my mum’s shortbread, which we all quietly hope for, and swoon over every Christmas. May it inspire a spot of baking at your place to share the edible traditions in your family and the generosity of giving a little something you’ve created with your hands.
The following are her instructions. They observe the traditional shortbread ratio of 2-4-6, originally given in ounces, and they come with the advice to be mindful of the weather – avoid making these on a hot day for the most forgiving results. Wrap them up with a little ribbon or string, and share with the ones you love. – Liz
Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
Rub the softened butter and sugar together with your hands or a wooden spoon. Add the sifted flour, mix and gently knead to bring it together. It can also be beaten together with an electric mixer, whichever is easiest for you.
Roll out into a rectangle at least 1cm thick and cut into fingers, or shapes. It rises a little. Prick with a fork and if you like, sprinkle with sugar. I find it easier to knead a little and make into a fat sausage, and slice it into rounds. Then prick etc.
Bake on a lightly greased tray or a tray lined with baking paper.
Cook in a slow oven for about 12 – 15 mins, just until very slightly golden. Resist temptation to keep cooking, they can quickly brown on the top without you realising.
Leave to cool on the tray. Store in an airtight container out of the fridge but somewhere nice and cool.