Tag: shortbread biscuits

Why I don’t love shortbread (Part two)

Shortbread is a sticky subject!

So, yesterday I made shortbread biscuits. The reason I made them was to test that they would work as individual biscuits. I have had some shortbread nightmares recently when trying to do one big tray/mould bake.

My friend Astrid emailed me :
“ I’ve been trying to perfect my shortbread technique and it’s not going too badly (I find the rubbing technique works much better than creaming for me) but I wanted to use a mould I bought in a cook shop in Scotland and it’s not working: the dough sticks to the mould (it’s ceramic) and twice now I’ve had to scrape it off with a spatula, which defeats the object of having a patterned mould in the first place! Is there a different recipe I can use or a way of doing it so this doesn’t happen?”

So I set about finding a recipe that I thought would work best in a ceramic mould (I also treated myself to a cute Scottish Shortbread mould from Lakeland- thistles and all!) And used the shortbread recipe from yesterday which is here.

Round one

Grease the mould well

I used ‘Cake release’ which is a great non stick product (that I use with a lot of success with cakes) and applied it to the ceramic mould with a pastry brush so I could get into all the nooks and crannies.

Press the shortbread dough into the mould

To make the dough I used the rubbing method that Astrid used, popped it in the fridge for an hour then pressed it into mould.

The full mould

and baked it in the oven until it was a light golden brown colour.

Baked to perfection

But it didn’t work!  It got well and truly stuck. Even scraping won't get it out!

Round two

So, I tried again!
This time I blended the ingredients in the food mixer, creaming the butter and the sugar together before I added the dry ingredients. I chilled the dough overnight, greased the mould with butter and dusted it with plain flour, removing any excess.Butter and flour the mould
Then I rolled out the dough and pressed it into the mould lightly and baked it. Guess what? It got stuck again. It did taste good though – I tried to remove the shortbread  with a spatula and little pieces popped out. Don’t worry, none went to waste. It still won't come out!

Round three

Okay, so by now I was getting pretty annoyed. Why is it sticking? What am I doing wrong? I searched on Google and I messaged every Twitter foodie I could find. No one came up with any better ideas than the ones I had already tried. So I thought I’d go straight to the experts in baking equipment. I spoke to Lakeland direct!  Their advice was….

“Use a slightly lower heat and cook a little longer, to prevent sticking. The dough needs to be firmly pressed into the mould. It should be a toasty light brown when cooked. Be sure to let the shortbread cool in the pan before trying to remove.”

Well I decided I would give it one final shot using all their advice. And here’s the result!

I buttered the mould (or should I say caked it in butter?)

Rolled out the shortbread, placed it in the mould and pressed it into place. Baked it, left it to cool, placed it back in the fridge for an hour or so and….


it STILL got stuck!!!!

So, I’m stumped! Do you have a clever trick for getting shortbread out of a ceramic mould? What’s the knack! If you can shed any light/ experience/ help,  we (Astrid and I) would love to hear your tips! Please post a comment below.

Many thanks,





I love this Shortbread recipe (Part 1)

Shortbread biscuits make my mouth water!

Shortbread biscuits

I do love short bread, but I have also come to dislike it quite a lot too! (more on that in Part 2 tomorrow!)

Last week Beau, Darcey and I made a load of vanilla cookies to give as Christmas gifts. One was for our brilliant postie. He’s great and since going freelance in March I now have a lot of  heavy post including four magazine subscriptions Tim also has two, tons of press releases, books to review and products to test, so we keep him really busy and fit.

When he delivers he normally opens the porch door to drop the pile of post inside, so we left his tip and the cookies in that spot for him to find on his early morning rounds. The problem was that the post that day was just small letters and was put through the letterbox. The gift was still there waiting in the evening. And the same thing happened the next day! Then it was Christmas and there was no post for days and the vanilla cookies were not going to taste their best! So we have made him these shortbread biscuits instead.

Beau and Darcey are currently sitting by the living room window looking out for him as I type, so that we don’t miss him again!


225g Plain flour

100g Semolina

225g butter (at room temperature)

100g Caster Sugar

30g granulated sugar

To make the shortbread biscuits

Line baking tins with baking paper and set aside in the fridge. Heat the oven to 160°C, Fan 140°C, Gas Mark 3.

The ingredients

Measure out the butter and sugar into your mixing bowl and sift the flour and semolina into another bowl.

 Mix the butter and sugar

Cream the butter and sugar together until light in colour.

Add the flour and semolina

Add the dry ingredients and blend again.

Mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl

Continue to mix until the dough is formed and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Wrap in cling film

Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for an hour in the fridge.

Roll out the dough

Knead the dough as little as possible then roll it out. Use some plain flour to stop it sticking. Cut out your biscuits and give them a little space on the baking tin the shortbread will spread a little bit.
Use a fork to make holes in the biscuits

Use a fork to make holes to ensure that the biscuits cook right through. This method is usually for when you bake one large biscuit to be cut up later in a cake tin and the shortbread is much thicker, but I liked the pattern it made with the cookie cutter.

sprinkle sugar on top

Sprinkle sugar over the cookies.This will almost disappear on the shortbread but adds to the look and taste! I used granulated but you can use brown, cinnamon or Demerara sugar too.

Leave to cool

Pop the shortbread cookies in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are a pale golden brown colour. Then remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes before transferring them onto a rack to cool completely. Try to resist eating them whilst still hot. I can’t! I love them straight out of the oven!

Shortbread cookies gift bag

We placed the cooled shortbread into a zip-lock bag so that they were air tight (they need to be kept in an air tight container and also should be eaten within 2 days – this shouldn’t be a problem!) and then placed them into a paper gift bag tied with ribbon and mini baubles. I know Christmas is over but better late than never!  I hope he likes them!

More shortbread fun tomorrow!


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