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Trio of shortbread

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  • Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time30 mins
  • Makes48 cookies
*PLUS Refrigeration Time: 60 minutes, Baking Time: 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3 cups cake and pastry flour

  • 1/2 cup rice flour

  • 1/2 cup fruit powdered or superfine granulated sugar, not icing sugar

  • 1 tsp orange zest

  • 48 whole, unblanched almonds

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp cardamom

  • 1/2 cup toasted desiccated or flaked coconut

Instructions

  • To prepare basic dough, place butter in a mixing bowl. Beat until very creamy. Measure flours and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir together with a fork until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until combined. Don't overmix or cookies will be tough.

  • For flavored shortbread, see Step 3. If you prefer classic shortbread, form dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out easily, about 1 hour. Then, roll out dough to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thickness. Cut into shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake following directions in Step 4.

  • To make variations, divide dough into thirds and place each portion in a separate bowl. Stir in the additions at bottom of page.

  • To bake cookies, preheat oven to 300F (150C). Bake in centre of oven until cookies are a pale beige color, from 18 to 20 minutes, depending on size of cookies. Leave on sheets about 5 minutes before removing cookies to a rack to cool. Stored in a tightly covered container in a cool dry place, they will keep well for several weeks.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 86, Protein 0.7g, Carbohydrates 7.7g, Fat 5.8g.

You'll be making it once and serving it thrice--in really different flavors too!

Toasted coconut

Stir 1/2 cup toasted shredded or flaked coconut into 1 portion. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Place dough on a lightly floured board. Roll out to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thickness. Cut out shapes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Continue with step 4.

Orange-almond

Stir 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel into 1 portion. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Then, roll into 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly and press whole unblanched almond into each centre. Continue with step 4.

Lemon-cardamom

Stir 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom into 1 portion. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Place dough on a lightly floured board. Roll out to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thickness. Cut out shapes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Continue with step 4.

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