Shortbread is a Scottish delicacy, and traditionally is patted into moulds, cooked then broken into pieces. It is very rich, with a buttery taste and crisp consistency.
These biscuits are best made as freshly as possible, but should keep for up to a week in an airtight container.
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Two baking trays
- A pair of scales
- Rolling pin
- Biscuit cutter – either round, or in Christmas shapes such as stars
- Two large mixing bowls and wooden spoon
- Greaseproof paper
- Pretty bags or boxes
- 1 cup (8oz or 250g) butter
- ½ cup (4oz or 125g) white sugar
- ? cup (7oz or 220g) plain flour
- ½ cup (4oz or 125g) ground rice (if you can’t find ground rice, you can use all flour, but the biscuits won’t have quite such a crisp texture)
- ? cup (1oz or 30g) cocoa
- Few squares of plain chocolate, to decorate
- Few squares of white chocolate, to decorate
- Grease the baking sheets and put to one side.
- Put half the butter and half the sugar into each bowl. Beat them together with a wooden spoon until the mixture looks pale and fluffy.
- Into the first bowl, sift ½ cup (4oz) of the flour, and half the rice flour. Put the rest of the ingredients (remaining flour, ground rice and cocoa) into the second bowl.
- Beat each mixture until it binds together to form a stiff dough.
- Turn the contents of the first bowl out onto a floured surface, and roll it out to roughly ½ cm (1/4 inch) thick. Using your cutter, stamp biscuits out of the dough and put them on the tray. Carry on until all the dough is used. Repeat for the dough in the other bowl.
- Bake at 180C (350F) for approximately 10 minutes. The plain biscuits should be a pale golden colour, not brown. These cook very quickly, so if you have used a small cutter you need to keep an eye on them!
- Transfer to a wire rack until completely cold.
- Melt the two chocolates (preferably in the microwave), then take a piece of greaseproof paper about 12 inches (30cm) square. Fold it in half lengthways then sideways to form a smaller square. Carefully spoon the melted white chocolate into the square, then cut the tip off it with a pair of scissors. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the dark coloured biscuits, then repeat with the melted plain chocolate over the plain biscuits.
- Leave in a cool place to set. When completely firm, place in an airtight container like a sealed plastic bag before arranging in gift boxes.