Shortbread recipe

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Serves: 24

By purplehat

(8 Votes) 9


  • 100g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling

  • 200g unsalted butter softened, plus extra for greasing

  • 300g plain flour sifted, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 vanilla pod halved lengthways


  1. Using a knife, scrape along the cut side of the vanilla pod to remove the seeds. Place the seeds in a large bowl with the sugar and mix well.
  2. Add the butter and mix with a wooden spoon until lightly creamed. Add the flour and a pinch of salt, then mix to a soft dough.
  3. Turn out, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Then roll out and use star cutters (or any other shape) before popping on a greased tray in the oven. You can store the shortbread dough in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until about 5mm thick. Use an 8cm round fluted cutter to cut out the biscuits, re-rolling the trimmings to make 24. Transfer to 2 large, greased baking trays. Sprinkle with sugar, then chill for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas Mark 3. Bake the shortbread for about 15 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway, until pale golden.
  7. Transfer the shortbread to a wire rack to cool and crisp up. Place in a large storage jar ready to take to the picnic.

Handy Hint

Store the leftover vanilla pod in a jar of sugar to flavour the sugar - lovely. And it really is worth chilling the mixture - even if only for an hour. It makes it a lot easier to roll out and use with cutters.

Additional Information

  • Egg Free

  • Nut Free

  • Vegetarian

  • Biscuit and sweets

  • Kids can help

  • Make Ahead

  • Can Freeze

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Your comments

  • kaaren69 14/11/13 18:19

    delicious, easy and rolled out nicely, kept their shape

  • wheretoyougonow 14/08/13 08:40

    Made this last night - brilliant recipe, very happy children today!

  • Sweetsnbooksnradio4 20/03/13 13:28

    Great recipe, just like expensive shortbread bought in tins. Left it in fridge all afternoon though and the mixture was too hard to work with, had to 'defrost' in the microwave first! Had no vanilla pod, essence was fine.

  • OstrichSizedToLapland 15/12/12 11:50

    Delicious. I've used this recipe a lot now and it gives great biscuits. I use a capful of vanilla essence instead of a pod. They take 15 mins in my fan oven.

  • TheGrumpalo 03/03/11 10:19

    Lovely biscuits, ready in no time.

  • ButterflyEmma 16/02/10 11:16

    Easy and tasty - what more could you want! As with purplehat they cooked much quicker in the fan oven. I also swapped the vanilla pod with a dash of vanilla essence and swapped the butter for dairy free spread (Vitalite). Kids age 4 and 7 managed to do most with minimum supervision.

  • eandh 04/12/09 06:10

    Aganin made these fr preschool Xmas fayre and they look (and taste) fab

  • jeanetteb672 02/12/09 19:53

    santa claus says he would like to try one in my house on christmas eve with his glass of milk ... ho ho ho ... i better not let him down .. he's travelling from afar ... my kids loved them and were so excited to carry on baking the next day as we left our mixture in the fridge over night to get it all 'magical' xx

  • purplehat 01/12/09 19:54

    Very easy to make and cooks in a fan oven in about 7 minutes!