Shortbread biscuits or cookies are one of Scotland’s gifts to the world. The apparently simple biscuits have a beautifully smooth and crumbly texture, and they’re a classic you must add to your baking repertoire.
Initially, shortbread followed an easy-to-remember recipe of one-part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. Still, I like to make mine with a bit more flour — they just end up nicer.
Did you know shortbread goes back to at least the 1730s? This might be the oldest thing I know how to bake, and that feels good as ifI were part of history. Now I would like for you to feel the same way about the biscuits.
I know there are many shortbread variations, and they can come in all shapes and sizes. Today we’re making classic rectangle-shaped shortbreads with their typical little fork holes. They’re baked, covering an entire baking tray and cut once they’ve cooled off.
You might have guessed the ingredients we’re using today, but here they are: butter, sugar and all-purpose flour.
The final ingredient is instant coffee, and I mean high-quality freeze-dried espresso, the nice kind. Just a few tablespoons of coffee will give the shortbread the loveliest brown color and the most exciting flavors and aroma.
Here’s a tip. Use these shortbread biscuits to make ice cream sandwiches, especially if you use chocolate or coffee ice cream; they’re the best ice cream sandwiches I’ve tried.
To make this easy espresso shortbread recipe, you’ll need a 9×13 inch baking tray or similar. Since the batter is quite soft and will cover the entire tray, the size of the tray determines the thickness of the biscuits — you don’t want them too thick or too thin.
You’ll need to use a fork to prick the batter once on the tray to prevent any bubbles. The rest is up to the oven; these are really easy to make.
Preheat the oven to 300°F, grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and then incorporate the flour and instant coffee. Combine to form a dough.
Press the dough on the bottom of the baking pan and prick the dough with a fork.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool until warm before cutting the dough into 12 equal-sized squares. Let the shortbread cool down entirely before unmolding.
Optionally, garnish with powdered sugar or dip in melted chocolate.