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How to make original Irish shortbread cookies

Making original shortbread cookies at home is a delightfully simple process.

Irish shortbread-The edible flower

These buttery, crumbly cookies have a rich history in Scottish baking and require just a few basic ingredients. Here’s a traditional recipe to help you create these delicious treats:

  • 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, enhances flavor)
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  1. Preheat the oven: Set your oven to 325°F (160°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Cream butter and sugar: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or a wooden spoon to cream together the softened butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This step is crucial as it helps to incorporate air and gives the cookies their characteristic texture.
  3. Add flour and salt: Gradually mix in the flour and salt to the butter mixture. Begin with adding about half of the flour, mix it well, then add the rest. Continue to mix until the dough comes together. The final dough should be firm but pliable, not sticky.
  4. Shape the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. You can roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to form shapes, or simply press the dough into an ungreased baking pan (like an 8-inch square pan) and prick it all over with a fork.
  5. Chill the dough: If you have time, chilling the shaped dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes can help the cookies maintain their shape during baking.
  6. Bake: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, or if you’ve pressed the dough into a pan, put the pan in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Shortbread should not get too much colour and should remain pale.

7. Cool and serve: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet or in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. If you baked a large piece in a pan, cut into squares or bars while still warm.

8. Storage: Shortbread cookies store well in an airtight container at room temperature and can last for several weeks.

These cookies are perfect for any occasion, whether it's a formal gathering or just a treat with your afternoon tea. Enjoy baking and indulging in your homemade shortbread cookies!

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