Shortbread is a long favourite of mine and this specific recipe is inspired by the TV series “Ted Lasso,”. It holds significance as a symbol of kindness and friendship and I’m all for food bringing people together! This shortbread is as simple as it is delicious.
I like to eat this shortbread with tea or coffee as a simple and delicious treat. Eat on its own or use it as a base for other desserts, such as cheesecakes, lemon meringue or tarts. Some variations of shortbread include adding flavourings such as citrus zest, chocolate chips, or dried fruit to the dough.
Why this recipe is amazing
- Buttery, subtly sweet taste with a rich flavour.
- No mixer! Use my grater trick for extra flaky texture!
- 4 main ingredients
- Simple to make, suitable for novice and experienced bakers. The recipe requires minimal effort, with a straightforward process.
- Versatile: Classic shortbread is delicious on its own, but you can unleash your creativity by adding flavours like chocolate chips, citrus zest, or nuts. Use as a base for bars & slices! Think lemon meringue, caramel slices and more!
What is ted lasso and what is Shortbread?
Shortbread is a sweet biscuit or cookie that originated in Scotland in the 1700s. Traditionally made with just butter, sugar, and flour. The name “shortbread” comes from the fact that the dough has a “short” or crumbly texture, which is achieved by using a high proportion of butter to flour.
“Ted Lasso” is a popular TV series that follows the story of an American football coach, Ted Lasso, who is hired to coach a British soccer team, AFC Richmond. The show is known for its heartwarming and comedic portrayal of Ted’s journey as he navigates cultural differences, sceptical players, and personal challenges.
Ted makes shortbread for the CEO Rebecca and they represent his caring and nurturing nature. They serve as a way for him to show kindness, make a personal connection, and extend a gesture of friendship. I’m a big fan of this because I love to show love through food! Food brings people together and it’s a great way to show small acts of kindness.
Ingredients that are needed:
- Cold Butter: The star ingredient of our shortbread recipe is cold butter. Using cold butter, grated into the flour mixture, creates flaky layers in the cookies. The cold butter melts and releases steam as the cookies bake, resulting in a light, tender texture that practically melts in your mouth. Its richness adds that unmistakable buttery flavour that defines classic shortbread.
- Plain Flour: Plain flour serves as the base ingredient for our shortbread, providing structure and stability to the cookies. It contributes to the desired texture and helps bind the dough together.
- Cornflour/Corn starch: Cornflour, also known as cornstarch, plays a crucial role in achieving the desired texture of shortbread. By substituting a portion of the regular flour with cornflour, we introduce a delicate crumbly texture to the cookies. Cornflour helps inhibit gluten development, resulting in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth experience. It contributes to the delicate nature of shortbread and enhances its signature flakiness.
- Powdered Icing Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness to our shortbread. Its fine texture dissolved smoothly and quickly into the dough, ensuring a consistent sweetness throughout each bite. The powdered sugar also contributes to the tenderness of the cookies, enhancing their melt-in-your-mouth quality.
- Vanilla Extract: A dash of vanilla extract brings warmth and depth to our shortbread recipe. It is optional but I like the aroma of vanilla as it imparts a subtle sweetness and enticing fragrance.
Recipe Testing Zone
Troubleshooting & things I’ve learned from testing this recipe:
Test 1: Too much butter = too oily and the mixture has to be cooked in a baking tin. Getting the right flakey texture means not being right for individual cut-out cookies.
Test 2: Too much sugar created a crispier cookie but too sweet and overpowered buttery flavour.
Test 3: Baking time was subsequently reduced due to being too dark and overly nutty flavour. Used in lemon meringue bars. Very easy to use but needed larger tin or less mixture as a layer too thick.
Test 4: Conventional oven was used (no fan). Created optimal colour and flavour.
Setting you up for success – Tips, Tricks & FAQs
- Use high-quality butter: The main star in shortbread! It’s paramount to use high-quality butter for the best flavour and texture. Look for lightly salted butter with a high butterfat content for the best results. Unsalted is okay, then add 1/2 tsp salt to the recipe.
- Decide on a pan: A 20-22cm or 8-inch square metal pan will work for this recipe. Note that the pan size will affect the bake time. Larger pans spread the mixture = thinner cookie = shorter bake time… and vice versa.
- Grate the butter: Each strand creates flaky layers in the cookies. The cold butter melts and releases steam as the cookies bake, resulting in a light, tender texture that practically melts in your mouth.
- Don’t overwork the dough: Overworking the dough can result in tough, dense shortbread. Mix and press the dough until it just comes together, and then stop. You can also do this on a lightly floured surface to bring it together, but be careful not to overdo it.
- Bake at a low temperature: Shortbread should be baked at a low temperature, 160°C/ 325°F without the fan, for a longer period of time. It will be around 30-40 minutes. This slow baking helps the shortbread cook evenly and gives it a nice, crispy texture.
- Slice when warm: Use a sharp knife to cut into your fingers when warm. This will help create nice sharp edges without the cookies crumbling.
- Let it cool before serving: Shortbread is best served at room temperature, allow it to cool completely before serving. This will also give it time to set and become crispier.
- Dry or crumbly texture: If your shortbread turns out dry or crumbly, it could be due to overbaking or insufficient fat in the dough. To fix this, try reducing the baking time or increasing the butter content in the recipe.
- Uneven browning: If your shortbread is browning unevenly, it could be due to uneven oven heat distribution or placing the baking sheet too close to the heat source. To ensure even browning, rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking and adjust the oven rack position if needed.
- Hard or tough texture: when your shortbread turns out hard or tough, it is probably because the dough was overworked or kneaded too much. To achieve a tender texture, handle the dough gently and avoid excessive kneading.
- Lacking flavour: If your shortbread lacks flavour, it could be due to using low-quality butter or not adding enough flavouring such as vanilla extract or citrus zest. Make sure to use high-quality butter especially and adjust flavourings according to your taste preferences.
- Sticking to the pan: If your shortbread sticks to the baking pan, it’s because the pan was not properly greased or lined with parchment paper. Ensure that the pan is lined to prevent sticking.
Cornflour (also known as cornstarch) is traditionally used in shortbread recipes to achieve a delicate and crumbly texture. Substituting it with another flour may alter the texture and result in a different outcome. It’s recommended to use cornflour for the best results.
Yes, you can use powdered sugar for sprinkling on top of the shortbread but only after it is baked and cooled to avoid melting. It will add a subtle sweetness and a nice powdered appearance. Adjust the amount to your preference.
Store the cooled shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature. It can stay fresh for up to a week. If you live in a humid environment, you can place a small piece of bread or a silica gel packet in the container to help absorb any excess moisture and maintain the texture.
Yes, you can freeze both the dough and the baked cookies. To freeze the dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag or airtight container. Thaw it in the refrigerator before using it. Baked shortbread can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature before serving. You can also rebake slightly to add that crunch back.
Shortbread is versatile and allows for various flavour additions. You can incorporate ingredients like chocolate chips, citrus zest, dried fruits, or finely chopped nuts into the dough. Just ensure that the additional ingredients are well distributed and don’t disrupt the dough’s texture.
Looking For More Yumminess?
Ted Lasso Shortbread
- large bowl
- 20-22cm / 8-9 inch square baking tin
- 250 g (1 cup) lightly salted butter
- 200 g (1⅓ cup) plain flour
- 105 g (¾ cup) cornflour/starch
- 100-120 g (¾-1 cup) powdered icing sugar
- 1½ tbsp water
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste optional
- 1-3 tbsp granulated white sugar to sprinkle
- Begin by preheating your oven to 160°C/ 325°F. This is reccomended in a conventional oven, no fan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, cornflour/starch, powdered icing sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Using a grater, grate the cold butter into the flour mixture. This technique ensures the butter is evenly distributed, creating those lovely flaky layers. Rub the butter and flour between fingers to break up large chunks to create a chunky breadcrumb texture. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes so that the butter comes up to room temperature.
- Drizzle over water and gently press the dough together. Fold and lightly knead the grated butter and flour mixture until it comes together. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, the butter may be too cold, if room temp is cold, hold it between your hands to allow body temp to warm dough slightly. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can result in a tougher texture.
- Press into a baking pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or flat-bottomed glass to smooth the surface. Don’t compress down too firmly as this makes the cookies more dense and firm.
- Prick the surface of the dough with a fork or make a design on the top. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top for an added touch of sweetness and crunch.
- Bake the shortbread for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the edges turn a light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and slice into fingers using a sharp knife. Allow to cool completly before serving.
- Serve on their own with tea or coffee. For an extra special treat, dip one edge in melted chocolate and allow it to set.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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