With only 4 ingredients these buttery Scottish shortbread cookies are one of the best examples of simple perfection. Maybe even more perfect with chocolate.
Scottish Shortbread – 4 ingredients to perfection.
Last week we featured “Melting Moments“, the lightest shortbread that I had ever sampled. Today we have my personal favourite, Scottish shortbread.
Scottish Shortbread when well made is a great example of simple perfection. With only 4 ingredients it barely qualifies as a recipe but it is very rich and delicious just the same. It is what my mom would call the perfect “cuppa tea bickie”!
Real dairy butter is an absolute must; this is not the time to substitute margarine. Proper vanilla extract and not artificial vanilla flavouring is also essential. The scraped out sticky interior of a large vanilla bean is even better.
We usually chocolate dip half of what we make to have both versions on hand. This also qualifies as a terrific gift item as well. There has to be more than a couple of people on any gift list who would really enjoy receiving these.
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- 2 cups salted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups flour
Cream the butter and sugar very well until light colored and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour until a soft dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
Roll in balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour or roll out and cut into shapes as desired.
Bake at 350 degrees 12-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Allow longer baking time if you are baking the large rectangles of dough to be cut in fingers.
These are simple perfection as they are but are also fantastic dipped in melted chocolate.
See note for further instructions on shortbread fingers as shown.
Total time reflects chilling time for the dough.
NOTE: If you want to make the shortbread fingers as shown. A half batch of the dough fits perfectly into a parchment lined 8x8 inch pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan and smooth the surface.
Score the surface of the dough with a sharp knife to outline 16 fingers (4x1 inches each)
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the edges brown. Leave the oven on, but cool in the pan for 20 minutes before lifting the entire batch out of the pan and cutting along the score marks into 16 fingers using a serrated knife in a sawing action. Be careful, they will still be warm and fragile.
Use an egg turner to transfer them to a cookie sheet and then turn off the oven and put them back in the warm oven for 20 minutes or so to crisp up a bit more.
Cool completely on a wire rack before storing them in an airtight container or cookie tin.
Take a wooden skewer and poke a half dozen holes in each finger, right to the bottom.
If you want to dip your shortbread in chocolate, simple melt together 1 cup chocolate chips and 3 tbsp whipping cream. Dip the shortbreads and lay them on a parchment paper covered tray until the chocolate sets. Put layers of parchment paper between layers of cookie if you are freezing them.
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