Shortbread is named because of its crumbly texture (from an old meaning of the word short). The cause of this texture is its high fat content, provided by the butter.
Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle, which is divided into segments as soon as it is taken out of the oven; individual round biscuits; or a thick oblong slab cut into "fingers."
Using a decorative shortbread pan produces shortbread that is delicious, flaky, delicate, and sophisticated. The ceramic shortbread pan makes heart-shaped pieces of shortbread, each featuring a flower or small berry.
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1 stick butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Let butter soften to room temperature.
- Cut butter pieces into the flour with a fork in a large bowl. The result should be like fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix in the sugar.
- Grease the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch round or square baking pan (or decorative shortbread pan) with butter and sprinkle with flour.
- Press the mixture compactly into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Cut with a sharp knife into desired shapes while it is still warm and sprinkle the top with additional sugar.
- Let it cool in the pan so it will not fall apart.