This easy to make Vanilla Shortbread Biscuit recipe yields 24 melt in the mouth cookies of various shapes, that are sure to please every discerning cookie or biscuit eater. They make an ideal gift to bake around holiday times or simply share with family and friends with a cup of your favourite brew.
Drizzle with White, Milk or Plain chocolate or simply dust with Caster sugar. Use Heart shaped cookie cutters for a Valentine biscuit gift, or Ginger Bread, Angel and Star Shaped cutters for Christmas Gifts.
Biscuits and cookies are some of my favourite things to make. Especially when I'm in a hurry to make something of a sweet treat. These Lebkuchen Shortbread are another favourite that I love to make at Christmas.
Note: I've updated this recipe with new and additional information such as step by step instructions and new images.
Shortbread Recipe with Cornflour
Buttery and crumbly, Scottish Shortbread is traditionally made with one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. Some recipes replace a portion of the flour with either cornflour or Semolina.
I made this Vanilla Shortbread Biscuit Recipe with cornflour as it gives a nice smooth crumbly melt in the mouth texture. Semolina, gives a more noticeable grainy textured bite to it while being equally as crumbly and buttery.
It's all a matter of personal taste.
These easy to make Shortbread Cookies bake perfectly every time. There are just a few things that you need to think about as you make them.
One of the main things to bear in mind is not to handle the cookie dough too much. The heat from your hands will soften the butter making the dough too soft resulting in the biscuits spreading as they bake. If this happens, place the dough in the fridge wrapped in cling film and let it rest and firm up a little.
How to make Butter Shortbread Biscuits (Cookies)
Start by preheating your oven to 170Cdeg fan and have ready a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Sieve together the cornflour and flour in a separate bowl. This will ensure even distribution throughout the cookie dough.
In a separate bowl using an electric mixer with a beater attachment, beat together the butter, sugar and Vanilla Extract until well combined. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go along. I use a flexible paddle beater attachment making the job a lot easier.
Add the combined flours and on a low speed, mix until everything comes together and you have a smooth firm dough.
I always roll pastry dough and cookie dough between two sheets of baking parchment. This means there is no need to use extra flour, which will only become added to the dough making it tough and crumbly.
How thick should Shortbread Biscuits be?
Cut into shapes using your favourite cookie cutters to a thickness of about 5mm. You will need to keep an eye on baking times if you choose to make them thicker or thinner. Too thin and they will over bake and break. Please see my notes below about thickness and baking times.
Bring any remaining dough together and re roll before cutting into shapes again. But don't over hand the mixture. Use the last piece of dough and shape inside the cookie cutter, leaving no waste.
There is no need to put them in the fridge before baking. I tested this and there was no difference in the bake between a batch that I baked immediately and a batch that had been in the fridge for 10min on the baking tray.
TIP: However, if your kitchen is very hot, you may find the butter becomes too soft to work with. It's helpful to place the tray of cut dough into the fridge for 10 mins to firm up a little.
Once you are ready to take them out of the fridge to bake, make sure your oven is up to temperature so that you can get them baked before the dough softens again. I've added a note about this on the recipe card in case you print a copy.
Bake for 12 - 14 mins or until baked but not too golden looking in colour. This will also depend on how thick your biscuits are. See my notes below. Leave to cool completely.
While the biscuits are cooling, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once the biscuits have cooled completely, drizzle the chocolate over each biscuit. Leave them to one side to allow the chocolate to set.
Why this Recipe Works
As Vanilla Shortcake Biscuits go this works really well. The dough doesn't spread during baking.
They make the perfect baked goods gift at any time of year, no matter what shape cookie cutter you use.
They are quick an easy to make, and are suitable for children to get involved.
Notes and FAQ's for Vanilla Shortbread
Don't handle the dough too much. The heat from your hands will soften the butter making the dough too soft to work with.
Thick or Thin - I kept the thickness of each cookie to about 5 mm. If you make them thinner they will bake a lot quicker and could burn, so take care. If you cut the biscuits a lot thicker, they will take longer to bake, but only by a few minutes. Best keep an eye on the timings.
Why Do my Shortbread Cookies Spread and Flatten
The dough could be too soft, especially if you are working in a hot kitchen. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge to firm up before rolling and cutting out.
You can also place the tray of cut out biscuit dough back into the fridge for about 15 mins to firm up again. Just make sure your oven is up to temperature when you are ready to bake them.
Make sure the ratio of flour to fat is correct, too much butter is often another reason cookies spread and flatten during baking.
Make these to go with this Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Cake for a special Afternoon Tea or Chocolate Valentine treat.
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Easy Vanilla Shortbread Biscuits
- 225 g plain flour
- 75 g cornflour
- 200 g butter, softened
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 50 g White chocolate Milk and Plain chocolate is fine
- Preheat the oven to 170Cdeg fan/325F Have ready a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
- Sieve together the cornflour and flour in a separate bowl. This will ensure an even distribution.
- In a seperate bowl using an electric mixer with a paddle beater, mix together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar until well combined. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go along.
- Add the combined flours and on a low speed, mix until everything comes together and you have a smooth firm dough.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment to a thickness of 5mm. Cut into shapes using your favourite cookie cutters.
- Bring any remaining dough together and re roll before cutting into shapes again. Use the last piece of dough and shape inside the cookie cutter, leaving no waste.
- Bake for 12 - 14 mins or until baked but not too golden looking. This will also depend on how thick your biscuits are. See my notes below. Leave to cool completely.
- While the biscuits are cooling, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once the biscuits have cooled completely, drizzle the chocolate over each biscuit. Leave them to one side to allow the chocolate to set.