Shortbread biscuits

Crisp, beautifully short and buttery, this recipe is based on Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course and produces delicious shortbread rounds. The secret to good shortbread – like shortcrust pastry – is to avoid handling it too much and to roll out the dough thinly.

This shortbread recipe only contains three ingredients and follows an easy ratio to remember of 3: 2: 1 (flour: butter: sugar). Best of all, it doesn’t require any expensive or complicated kitchen equipment to make.


Makes about 10 biscuits

  • 110g butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour, sifted
  • Extra caster sugar, for dusting


  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 2, 300°F / 150°C / 130°C fan.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl, and using a wooden spoon, beat it to a soft consistency. Then beat in the sugar, followed by the sifted flour.
  4. Still using the wooden spoon, start to bring the mixture together until it resembles breadcrumbs. To finish it off, tip the mixture onto a clean surface and lightly bring it together with your hands. Knead it briefly to form a dough with a consistent texture.
  5. Press the dough into a disc with your hands and transfer it to a board lightly dusted with caster sugar. With a rolling pin, quickly and lightly roll it out to about 3mm thick, dusting the rolling pin with sugar if necessary.
  6. Use a 7.5cm (3 inch) fluted cutter to cut the biscuits out, then arrange them on the baking sheet and bake on a medium / high shelf in the oven for between 20 – 30 minutes. The biscuits should still be pale in colour – keep an eye on them while they are in the oven and remove them before they turn golden.
  7. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack, dust them with some caster sugar, and store in an airtight container to keep them crisp.

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