Trish's Shortbread

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By Team Studio Kitchen

All of us behind the scenes at Studio Kitchen have been lucky to try these glorious shortbread made with the tender touch of Trish Claringbold. She's 92 years old and has been making these since she was a gifted a cook book as an engagement present at age 23. For as long as we can remember she's been making shortbread as Christmas gifts for friends and family. If you're lucky enough to a receive a jar, you know you're on her nice list.

The real secret to success is in the baking. You want the base of your shortbread to be a light golden brown, the sort of golden brown thats developed from a slow gentle bake. It will deliver a product that has a richer deeper flavour, a perfect texture and crumb, and will last the longest time in an airtight jar.

There is also one more little secret to reveal, Trish grinds her caster sugar in a food processor. The result is not as fine as icing sugar; it's somewhere in between caster and icing and she says the end result is 100% worth the effort. With almost 70 years of trial and error we'd be crazy not to follow her advice.

Time

1

hour

20

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

Save

3

Portions

36
pieces

Share Recipe

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Ingredients

Servings

metric
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115g caster sugar
230g salted butter (room temperature)
1 whole vanilla bean, seeds scraped
315g plain (all-purpose) flour
60g cornflour
 canola spray
1

Put the sugar in a food processor and process until finer but not quite to icing sugar stage.

 

2

Put the butter in a the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla seeds and cream the butter on low speed until very soft and pale, then increase the speed and add the sugar. Mix to combine well. Sieve the flour and cornflour together, then add the creamed butter. Turn the machine on low and mix just until a dough starts to form.

 

3

Turn out onto a work surface and bring the dough together with your fingers. Divide the dough into nine portions and shape into balls. Use your hand to pat out the dough balls into 3 cm (1 1/4 in) thick rounds. Cut each in quarters and mark each quarter with a fork.

 

4

Preheat the oven to 140℃ (275℉). Lightly grease two baking trays with oil spray and line the trays with baking paper. Use your hand to smooth and flatten the paper on the trays.

 

5

Place the shortbread pieces on a tray, leaving room between them to allow for expansion. Bake for about 1 hour, checking if they are ready after 45-50 minutes. To know if your shortbread is perfectly cooked, gently lift it up one piece and check the bottom - it should be light golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, pack the shortbread pieces into biscuit tins or jars tied with ribbon.

 

6

Christmas timeline... if you're planning to gift these, then we recommend starting in November so it's not a slog in December, when there are so many other things to think about. They will last for 6 months if kept airtight.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

Put the sugar in a food processor and process until finer but not quite to icing sugar stage.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

Put the butter in a the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla seeds and cream the butter on low speed until very soft and pale, then increase the speed and add the sugar. Mix to combine well. Sieve the flour and cornflour together, then add the creamed butter. Turn the machine on low and mix just until a dough starts to form.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

Turn out onto a work surface and bring the dough together with your fingers. Divide the dough into nine portions and shape into balls. Use your hand to pat out the dough balls into 3 cm (1 1/4 in) thick rounds. Cut each in quarters and mark each quarter with a fork.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

Preheat the oven to 140℃ (275℉). Lightly grease two baking trays with oil spray and line the trays with baking paper. Use your hand to smooth and flatten the paper on the trays.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

Place the shortbread pieces on a tray, leaving room between them to allow for expansion. Bake for about 1 hour, checking if they are ready after 45-50 minutes. To know if your shortbread is perfectly cooked, gently lift it up one piece and check the bottom - it should be light golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, pack the shortbread pieces into biscuit tins or jars tied with ribbon.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

Christmas timeline... if you're planning to gift these, then we recommend starting in November so it's not a slog in December, when there are so many other things to think about. They will last for 6 months if kept airtight.