175g (6 oz) butter
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
225g (8 oz) plain flour
Extra caster sugar to finish
Beloved by people all over the world, shortbread must be ‘the’ ambassador for Scotland. There are several recipes and many a discussion of whether to add rice flour or cornflour. This is a favourite and well used recipe which uses neither!! If you are of the school that prefers more of a bite then substitute rice flour or cornflour for a quarter of the flour.
Cream the butter and sugar together and stir in the flour. Use your hand to pull the dough together into a ball and divide in two. Roll out each portion into two circles about 15cm (6 in) in diameter. Place on the plain shelf or on two baking sheets. Then crimp the edges of each circle and mark into six sections. Prick with a fork.
2 -oven AGA: Place the baking sheet on the grid shelf set on the floor of the Roasting Oven with the cold plain shelf on the second set of runners down. Cook for about 20 minutes until light golden in colour. Turn the tray if necessary.
3, 4 and 5-oven AGA: Place the baking sheet on grid shelf on the floor of the Baking Oven. Cook for about 20 minutes until light golden in colour. Turn the tray if necessary.
Remove the shortbread from the oven and immediately cut into six portions, using the marks made before cooking. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to go cold.
Rayburn cooking: Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes until light golden in colour.
Conventional cooking: Bake at 180°C (350°F) fan oven 160ºC, Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes until a light golden colour.
- For orange shortbread grate the rind of one orange into the creamed butter and sugar.
- For lemon shortbread grate the rind of one lemon into the creamed butter and sugar.
- For cinnamon shortbread add ½-1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the creamed butter and sugar.
- For ginger shortbread add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the creamed butter and sugar. Decorate the top with pieces of crystallised or glace ginger.
Recipe by Dawn Roads, AGA Food Editor