There is only one treat that I absolutely must have at Christmastime: my mum’s shortbread. Forget rum balls, cookies, and fruitcakes. this shortbread is all I need (albeit, I do need a lot of it!).
My mum has made this for as long as I can remember. She says it tastes just like the kind her grandmother used to make. Every December, she pulls out her cast iron shortbread mold and makes batch after batch to deliver to all her friends and neighbours. And of course a few batches for us.
Last Christmas, I attempted the recipe in my own kitchen. Mum loaned me the mold and I started baking. Then I packaged up my own shortbread to deliver to all my friends. They loved it, just as everyone does. A precedent was set; when this December rolled around they were all waiting for their shortbread and when I delivered it at a party, very little of it actually made it out the door.
So here it is, the most delicious shortbread ever…
From my mum
Yield: approx 4 rounds
1 pound butter
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
Place your shortbread mold in the freezer until ready to shape the shortbread. This helps to prevent the dough from sticking.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Cream the butter until soft.
Add the sugar gradually, blending until very light and creamy.
Add the flour gradually, again blending carefully.
Remove the mold from the freezer and dust it lightly with flour. Press the dough into the mould and turn out onto a baking sheet before baking.
Dust lightly with sugar
Bake at 375 F (190 C) for about 5 minutes, then lower the oven to 300 F (150 C) and continue baking for about 45 – 60 minutes.
Shortbread should be golden but not brown when done.