Classic Shortbread

Classic Shortbread

Shortbread (makes 12 pieces)

I really wonder at the ease of this one. There is something wonderful about making a batch of biscuits within an hour, even when you come back from the pub (which I have done). These are one of my favourite, easy to make and easier to eat. Make sure you are watched when in the kitchen and they are cooling down or you may be tempted to take one .. or two … or..


  • 225g soft butter
  • 100g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 280g plain flour


  1. Grease a 23cm round (or 20cm square) tart tin with a little of your butter then put the rest of the butter into a large mixing bowl and beat until it becomes creamy and pale.
  2. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla and then beat again.
  3. Sift in the flour and mix to an evenly blended dough.
  4. Press the dough into the tin, smooth it out with the back of a spoon and mark the edge of the shortbread with a fork and cut into 12 wedges. Prick each piece twice.
  5. Chill the shortbread for 20 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven to 160C/gas mark 2½ and bake the chilled shortbread for 70 minutes or until golden and a sandy colour.
  7. Leave to cool for five minutes and then recut into wedges and serve.

About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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