Crunchy Shortbead

Posted 9 December 2010 by

This was not supposed to be crunchy shortbread, just shortbread. It didn’t exactly work out as planned though and now, not only am I looking for the perfect brownie, but I am also on a quest to find the perfect shortbread. This batch actually worked ok, it tasted very nice, and if you like your shortbread crunchy and light, this recipe is great. For me though, it just didn’t have the right texture. It’s not like I didn’t do my research. I trawled the Internet and ended up at Felicity Cloake’s excellent Guardian blog (which I love; she’s always looking for the perfect way to make things!) Although I didn’t go with her final recipe, from her article I got to Sue Lawrence’s recipe for petticoat tails, which seemed to be what I was looking for. Alas, no.

The shortbread I made was perfectly alright and had a nice buttery taste. But to me (and my chief tester!) it was too crunchy, too light, not rich enough and not dense enough. It should be… softer, somehow.

One distinctive thing about Sue Lawrence’s recipe is the addition of cornflour, which I thought would do the trick. It’s supposed to make the shortbread more “melt in the mouth”, and it did; it just turns out that’s not what I wanted. I was put off by descriptions of “sandy” shortbread, but maybe that’s what I was thinking of all along. I don’t know. Clearly, I’m going to have to experiment!


  • 175 g butter
  • 85 g golden caster sugar
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • pinch of salt

Beat together the butter and sugar.

Sieve together the flour, cornflour and salt, and add it bit by bit to the mixture — just a tablespoon at a time. Gradually mix it all in until its a dough.

Roll out the dough and cut into circles (or rectangles, or put in a tin).

Bake the shortbread at 150° C for about 35 minutes until it’s pale golden. Leave to cool.

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