really random posts about food, eating well and healthy, my life, chocolates and dramas!

270: Lovely Crumbly Scottish Shortbread!

If you get unsatisfactory results on the first try, you should never give up. Continue trying because someday you might just succeed! After the rather unsuccessful attempt at shortbread cookies making a week ago, I decided to experiment again. And this time round, it’s a HUGE HUGE HUGE SUCCESS!

The packaging on the lovely Marks & Spencer’s All Butter shortbread fingers mentioned the use of flour, butter, corn flour, rice flour, sugar and baking powder. So I decided to go in search of a recipe with these ingredients! Previously, I had used plain flour, butter and sugar only. But it appears more like butter cookies than shortbread. That is after much search that I found out that the secret ingredient(s) to a CRUMBLY FLAKY shortbread is the use of corn flour (or corn starch) or for some, rice flour. Corn flour gives the cookie a melt in the mouth feeling.

See how lovely this batch of shortbread is! They are just SUPERB! And they have the same FLAKY CRUMBLY BUTTERY GOODNESS as the Marks & Spencer’s ones! I’m NOT kidding here because they are just that good. I’m not praising myself. But I’m praising this recipe!

I adapted the recipe from Eating Out Loud, who got this recipe from a friend’s scottish grandfather (it should be good!). But I tweaked a little, I added 1/4 tsp of baking powder to it. I’m not sure what effect it gave this batch of shortbread but it could be that it made the cookies rise a little higher than usual, giving it a lighter flaky texture.

Anyway, I adapted the recipe and downsized it. So here is my tweaked version!

Shortbread Cookies
1/4 cup sugar (granulated)

1/2 cups corn starch

1 cups all-purpose flour

1 pinch salt (I omitted this because I used salted butter)

115 g salted butter, at room temperature

1/4 tsp baking powder

Sugar (granulated) for dusting


  1. Add sugar, corn starch, flour and baking powder to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut butter into tablespoon sized pieces and add to the bowl
  3. Using a spoon or your hands, mix the butter into the dry ingredients (I strongly recommend to USE YOUR HANDS!)
  4. When the butter is fully integrated, the mix will be sand-like in texture. It will not form a ‘dough’. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch tart tin, spreading evenly in the pan. Use your hands to firmly press down on the dough, pushing the fine mixture into an even mass.
  5. Using a fork, prick the cookies about 1″ apart across the entire top. Dust the top with a little granulated sugar.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes at 180 degree Celsius, then reduce heat to 150 degree Celsius and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around edges and across the center.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting with a sharp knife. Let cookies continue to cool before removing (if you can resist).

YES, DO NOT OMIT THE CORN FLOUR! It’s the secret to a flaky crumbly buttery shortbread! And use good butter since shortbread is essentially a ‘butter’ cookie.  I’m using SCS unsalted butter here. Oh yes, this recipe is not suitable for shaping the cookies into shapes, use a flat mould or tart tin.

I love my shortbread! I’m going to let Mummy try them since I’ve finally succeeded!


2 responses

  1. Annie

    You talk about rice flour and corn flour, but your recipe uses neither of them. Is this recipe correct with no rice flour and corn starch?

    December 22, 2012 at 6:20 am

    • iamrina

      Hmm, corn starch & corn flour are interchangeable. I used corn starch (:

      January 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

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