The Simplest Shortbread Biscuits

Ideal for making star or window pane biscuits, for wrapping prettily with a gift or just with a cup of tea. 

Simple Christmas Shortbread

125g caster sugar

250g soft butter (see tip)

375g plain flour

A Baking tray approx 40cm x 30cm - the AGA cold plain shelf, lined with a large piece of bake o glide, is ideal.

 

1. Mix together the butter, sugar and flour until it looks like big breadcrumbs. Form into a ball, incorporating all the crumbs. Dust the worktop with flour and gently roll out the biscuit dough to the thickness of about 6mm.

2. Form into whatever shapes you have in mind - stars, hearts, reindeer, snowflakes, transfer to the cold plain shelf or baking tray. Bake either in the roasting oven, on the grid shelf on the floor, for 8 - 10 mins, turning halfway through or the baking oven, on the 2nd set of runners for 15 - 18 mins. The biscuits are cooked when they are lightly browned on the bottom and still pale on the top.

3. Sprinkle with sugar and cool on a wire rack. Make a hole near the top of the biscuits with a chopstick or tip of a knife if you are planning to thread ribbon through them to hang on the tree.

Variations

Make them tastier by adding the grated zest of an orange or lemon to the sugar and mixing as above.

Make them prettier by cutting out a circle in the centre before baking and putting a boiled sweet in the gap; the sweet will melt and fill the gap, creating colourful ‘window pane’ biscuits. Sprinkle some edible glitter or gold stars on the window pane as it cools for more dazzle.

Make them really indulgent by half dipping in melted chocolate; melt the chocolate gently in a small pyrex jug on the back of the AGA. Place the dipped biscuits on a cooling rack with a tray underneath to catch the drips. Put these back in the bowl to warm again.

Make then good enough to give by wrapping in clear film and tying with pretty ribbon.

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