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Monday 19 April 2010

Baking for Beginners: Vanilla Shortbread

Shortbread is a buttery, crumbly delight that is just perfect with a cup of tea and a good book. Siany loves it. I love it. And you'll love it too if you try this easy recipe.

Shortbread dough is really very crumbly so don't panic if yours looks like it is going to fall to pieces. Once the oven does its magic you'll end up with a melt in the mouth granular biscuit of the gods.

Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start. If it's too cold the mixture will be difficult to handle.

Finally, don't go overboard with the baking. The biscuits should be taken out when they are pale golden and before they start to go brown. They'll still be soft but will harden up on cooling.

Vanilla Shortbread (makes about 15 pieces)

You'll need
  • 225g plain flour, sifted
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150g butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 180c / Gas 4
  • Put the flour and caster sugar into a mixing bowl or food mixer if you have one. Add the butter and vanilla.
  • Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers, or use the paddle on the food mixer to bring it together to a sandy mixture.
  • Use your hands to press the mixture into a ball of dough.
  • Roll the dough out (very gently) on a floured surface until it's about 1cm thick. Carefully cut into 15 rectangles and put onto a baking sheet. The dough will be very crumbly but do persevere, you can always squidge any bits that break off back onto the pieces.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until pale golden. Leave to cool on the tray before scoffing the lot with a cup of PG.


  1. If you use fresh vanilla seeds (scraped from the pod) it tastes a wee bit better! x

  2. I made this last night, and added a handful of finely chopped crystalized ginger too. They were delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


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