Small Batch Shortbread

8/19/2021 02:06:00 PM

Small batch shortbread! A crisp, buttery shortbread biscuit, with crunchy edges and optional dark chocolate chunks. (Not actually optional). This recipe makes just eight shortbread rounds, a perfect  little lockdown treat!

Small Batch Shortbread
Small Batch Shortbread

Hello hello! I know it's been a little quiet here around ye olde blog lately - this year I've been averaging fewer than one post a month. Mum life has really taken priority! We've also moved house this last month so there's just a lot going on. Often I'm just getting through the day, and don't have the time or energy to cook or bake anything exciting, let alone create new recipes and photograph them and write them up. And once I get out of the habit of regularly blogging, it takes some effort to get back into it.

However however... in this latest lockdown, I've noticed that my recipe for Small Batch Scones has been going great guns and heaps of people have been baking it and tagging me on Instagram. (Yay!) That's why I decided to do a round-up post of all my small batch recipes, to try to give my other small batch recipes some love. Writing up that post really gave me the itch for some small batch baking, and literally the next day I came up with this shortbread. It's funny how inspiration works like that!

Shortbread is really easy to make in small quantities because most recipes don't contain any eggs - I always find it's hardest to scale down eggs in recipes, and I'm not a fan of using half an egg. 

So, this recipe makes eight shortbread biscuits, which I think is a sensible little batch. But to be honest, I'm an absolute shortbread fiend and anything less than an entire packet of Walker's Shortbread counts as a "small batch" to me, hah! Because it uses such small quantities (only 50 grams of butter and 50 grams of flour), this is very easy to stir together in a small bowl using a spoon, no mixer required.

Shortbread mixture
Shortbread mixture

Rice flour or ground rice are traditional in shortbread; I take a tip from Mary Berry and use semolina, which is very fine but still gives a nice texture. I also always have semolina in the pantry, and never use rice flour or ground rice for anything else, so it's a lot more convenient for me. (We use semolina for the annual Christmas roast potatoes, and Oma Frieda's Grießklösschen mit Kirschen, or in English: semolina dumplings with sour cherries).

Rather than rolling the dough out and using a cookie cutter, for such a small quantity I find the best way is to roll the shortbread into a log and then slice it into round cookies. (This way you don't waste any of the precious dough!) It occurs to me now that you could also press it out into a circle and cut it into wedges in the traditional Scottish fashion.

Shortbread roll
Shortbread roll

I rolled the biscuits in Demerara sugar for extra crunch - this (as well as the addition of chocolate chunks) was inspired by the beautiful shortbread biscuits that Good Karma Bakery sells! (I was actually lucky enough to win an Instagram giveaway of a bag of her cookies when she launched the bakery, and can highly recommend the molasses ginger ones).

Shortbread roll in Demerara sugar
Shortbread roll in Demerara sugar

That's it, slice and bake! I like to bake shortbread slowly at a low temperature (150C) so it crisps up slowly but doesn't go brown or bitter at all.

Small Batch Shortbread
Small Batch Shortbread

These shortbread biscuits were so beautiful! I loved the short (duh), crisp texture and the absolute butteriness. They're easy and quick to make, and even easier to eat. (I would have definitely eaten more if there had been more!)

Small batch shortbread with iced latte
Small batch shortbread with iced latte

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Small Batch Shortbread
A recipe by Sarah Cooks

50 grams softened unsalted butter
50 grams plain flour
1 pinch salt
25 grams semolina
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams dark chocolate, chopped medium-fine (optional)
1-2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 150C.
Place the butter in a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and semolina and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in the sugar and chocolate chunks (if using).
Roll the dough into a log of about 4 cm diametre. If the roll is quite soft, let it firm up in the fridge.
Roll the log into the Demerara sugar to coat the edges.
Slice into 8 even pieces, and arrange  the cookies on a lined baking tray.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm.
Allow to cool on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 8 shortbread biscuits

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.