Buttery, crumbly shortbreads are a treat any time of year. At Christmas time they look festive cut into star shapes.



  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 3⁄4 cup (90 g) pure icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300 g) plain flour
  • 1⁄2 cup (60 g) cornflour or rice flour


  1. Using electric beaters, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and creamy. Mix in the flour and cornflour using a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth.
  2. Divide the dough in half, then roll out each portion to form a disc about 2 cm thick. Wrap the discs in baking paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until 5 mm thick. Using a round, fluted 7 cm biscuit cutter, cut 12–14 rounds from each piece of dough.
  4. Place the biscuits on the baking trays and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

Makes: 24-28
Preparation: 20 minutes + 15 minutes resting
Cooking: 20 minutes
Recommended For You
Featured Articles
Cell by Cell Magazine
Cell by Cell
Personalised medicine is giving hope to people with melanoma.
The Town Without Wi-Fi Travel  
The Town Without Wi-Fi
A clash among locals, newcomers and scientists has made this place both a heaven and a hell.
Mayday, Mayday! Magazine  
Mayday, Mayday!
In the blink of an eye a fishing trip turns into a matter of life and death.
How a Bee Sting Saved My Life Health
How a Bee Sting Saved My Life
Ellie Lobel was ready to die. Then she was attacked by killer bees.