Shortcake, as opposed to shortbread, biscuits are popular in the UK. The usually come in an oblong form, flat in the middle with a pattern around the edges. I have looked for a recipe to make those but have never found one. Most of the time when I search for ‘shortcake’ I am presented with recipes of the US type of shortcake, which is more cake-like. So I decided to try to make my own. I also had just bought a nifty little gadget that I wanted to try out for pressing a pattern onto biscuits. So killing two birds with one stone seemed like a good idea.
For mine I decided upon lemon shortcake biscuits, but only with lemon zest to give just a subtle hint of lemon in the biscuit. These biscuits are less heavy on the butter than shortbread but, in my opinion, are just as nice and ideal with a cup of tea or coffee.
The recipe is simple, easy to make and has only a few ingredients. You do have to wait a couple of hours, to chill the dough enough to form the biscuits, but that is no particular hardship.
Mine turned out very well, they taste wonderful, and are nice and crunchy, just as a shortcake biscuit should be.
- 350g plain flour
- 130g softened butter
- 120g icing sugar (150 g if you dont use the vanilla sugar below)
- 30g vanilla sugar(that is caster sugar that I had stored with an empty vanilla bean pod to infuse the sugar with a vanilla flavour)
- 2 medium eggs(large in USA)
- Zest of lemon(I used two small lemons the zest weighed 4 grams)
- In a bowl sift the icing sugar and cream with the vanilla sugar and the butter, until nicely smooth.
- Add the eggs and lemon zest and mix until fully combined.
- Add the flour and mix until combined and the biscuit dough is smooth.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap shaped into a rough square flat disc and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/320F
- Line some baking trays( I used 4 but I baked in two batches, so two would be enough), with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Take the dough from the fridge and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness(I cut my dough into 4 and did each piece separately, keeping the remainder chilled).
- Using a cookie cutter of about 2.25 inches cut out the cookies( you should get 40 plus extra from cut off dough re-rolled).
- Place on the baking tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the biscuits are just beginning to change colour.
- Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.