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shortbread in oven


1-2-3 easy shortbread

By EllenComms 16 Dec 2022

My mum is a proud Scot and would take any chance to feed me Scottish meals when I was small as part of an effort to make sure that I did not lose that part of my heritage when growing up in the southwest of England.

Cooking time:

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 60 mins

Serves: 10


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g soft butter
  • 300g plain flour
  • Plus a little extra sugar for dusting


Any Scots reading this will likely be familiar with some of these – cock-a-leekie soup, haggis with neeps and tatties, tablet etc. However, my favourite is probably shortbread because it was the first of them that she taught me to make - as it was the easiest. In fact, once you memorise the “1-2-3” rule, it is easy to make without a recipe. I still remember her telling me about this whenever I make shortbread nowadays and it makes me smile to think about it. 1-2-3 refers to the ingredient ratio. one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. So, if you have 50g of sugar, then you will need 100g of butter and 150g of flour. The recipe below is for a big batch, designed to be enough to bring into the office for colleagues (...or a huge feast for one if, like me, you cannot stop once you have started...).

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C or Gas 5.
  2. Put butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour and keep mixing until you get a smooth paste.
  4. Empty mixture onto a surface and roll it until it is to your desired thickness (about 1cm).
  5. Cut into shapes that you like. You can use a cutter or just a knife if you do not have any. Then place these shapes onto a baking tray and dust them with the extra sugar.
  6. Leave in fridge for 15 minutes to cool.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. When they are golden brown, remove and cool on a wire rack.

By David Poole, Communications and Events Manager, LSE Data Science Institute (DSI). We've got loads of recipe articles on Halls Life to give you inspiration which you'll be spoilt for choice over!


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