These are english shortbread, a type of rich cookie or biscuit as it is called in asian countries. In my early days as a child, I remember eating these cookies but it is also called butter biscuits because of the vast amount of butter used. My mum used to do beautiful biscuits just for us kids which were very yummy and which melted in the mouth.
Of course it was very expensive then to buy them which comes in colored round and oblong tins. I used to reuse the tins for keeping knick knacks. These are very good too. It is still available at very good shops. I do buy them as gifts if I don’t have time to prepare them myself. But most of the time, I will prepare these shortbread bars and beautify them by putting them in beautiful art tins which becomes my signature! And of course you know that mine is free of any chemicals or preservatives and definitely more tasty!
So today I would like to share my recipe which I have altered a little to include flavouring and zest. I have baked many different types of shortbread but this is one of my favorite. It is a little finicky to do as the dough can become very soft in our hot climate. But the hard work pays off as you will bite into a crunchy yet soft cookie when baked. The flavor in this shortbread is just too awesome as I have used orange zest and orange extract. You may substitute with grapefruit, lemon or just leave it out.
250 g plain flour
1 tbsp rice flour
220 g butter
80 g fine sugar
1 orange – zest only.
1 tsp orange extract or more if you like the flavor.
coarse sugar for sprinkiling.
Preheat oven to 180C
Beat butter till smooth and creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat till fluffy.
Add the orange extract and the orange zest and blend well.
Slowly add in the flours and gently form a dough.
Wrap with cling wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
Roll dough onto a floured surface to ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick, cut into 8cm by 2 cm or 3 inch by half inch bars.
Place the shortbread onto a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Keep the shortbread in the baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill. Poke a few holes on the top of the shortbread with a cake tester or a skewer stick if desired.
Take out and bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or till shortbread is very lightly brown.
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Keeps well.
These shortbread keeps very well if stored in an airtight container.
Its a very good gift to bring along for children.
If you can’t find the orange extract, substitute with 2 tsp orange juice.
Handle the dough lightly as it may become soft, or chill well before cutting into bars.