Delicious melt in your mouth Shortbread Recipes from the Traditional to flavoured to bars with a shortbread base. The Holidays will be sweet and fun with these cookies and bars!
I have to admit Shortbread cookies are my all time favourite. I could never get enough of these cookies, and yes I would even sneak a few from the freezer when no one was looking. They can be made by hand, or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.
Some of the cookies are made using a rolling pin and cut outs and some a baking sheet. All are delicious good shortbread. I usually use salted butter but if you prefer unsalted butter than a little extra salt is needed.
Where did Shortbread originate?
According to British Food History – Dating back to the 12th century , shortbread was originally called biscuit bread.
These biscuits were made from left-over bread dough that was sometimes sweetened and dried out in the oven to form a hard, dry rusk. This practise took place over the whole of the British Isles, not just Scotland.
What does shortbread taste like?
Shortbread has a buttery flavor with a melt-in your mouth crumbly texture. For some people it can even have a dry sandy texture.
Are butter cookies and shortbread the same?
The difference being there is more sugar in a butter cookie and they are baked at a higher temperature. Shortbread cookies have a more crumbly texture.
Why use powdered/icing sugar?
Powdered sugar will help keep the cookies soft for longer and it helps to keep the cookies from spreading while baking.
Why are my cookies spreading?
To keep the cookies from spreading it is best to beat the butter and sugar just until combined and not creamed (of course this also depends on the type of cookie), for some cookies including some icing sugar in the mixture also keeps the cookies from spreading.
And probably most important of all, is to use a higher protein all purpose flour with at least 11.5- 12% protein count.
And don’t forget to chill the dough for at least 1 hour and again the cut out cookies before baking while the oven is pre-heating. Using most of these will help produce the perfect Christmas Cookies.
Should Shortbread dough be chilled before baking?
I would advise refrigerating the dough wrapped in plastic wrap for at least an hour and then refrigerating the cookies for about 15-20 before baking. This can be done while the oven is pre-heating.
Different ways to make shortbread
Shortbread is a very versatile cookie dough, it can be made with a cookie cutter, roll the dough and cut slices, it can be made in a pan and sliced when baked or even as a drop cookie. Sometimes a flavoring such as almond or vanilla extract is added.
How to tell when shortbread is baked
It really all depends. I like my shortbread when it just starts to turn light brown around the edges. I know some people prefer their shortbread completely golden brown. Both are delicious, so it’s up to you to choose!
Why add cornstarch?
I have recently discovered that a lot of people add corn starch (my Mom’s fourth ingredient) to cookie and cake recipes, the reason is because it adds softness to the finished cookie or cake. It also helps keep the dough from spreading.
How to store Shortbread Cookies
The baked cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. I sometimes store mine in the fridge because I like cold cookies. They will last up to 10 days by storing them in the fridge.
Bar cookies made with a shortbread base should be stored in a single layer, separated with parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.
Freezing the cookies
To freeze the shortbread cookies, place parchment paper in between the layers of the completely cooled cookies this prevents them from sticking together when they are in the containers for freezing, or you can also place the baked cooled cookies on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then move the frozen cookies to either airtight bags or containers. Baked Shortbread Cookies will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
The bars can also be frozen. Place in a freezer safe container with parchment paper between the layers. They will keep for up to 2-3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge, then bring to room temperature to serve.