I found a really foolproof shortbread recipe a while ago and so I thought I'd share it here. I can't take too much credit though, as the original recipe comes from Mary Berry, but I've adapted mine slightly to make biscuits rather than petticoat tails. I find that the portion control is easier that way, also you can make them as thick or thin as you like. I like them to be thinner if I'm serving them with a nice pudding or some ice cream, but thicker with a nice big mug of tea - Yum!
4 oz plain flour
4 oz butter
2 oz caster sugar
2 oz cornflour (Mary uses semolina in hers but suggests a substitute of cornflour, I always use cornflour because it is more readily available and still gives a nice short texture to the finished biscuit)
Measure all the ingredients into a food processor and process until combined into a ball. You can do this by hand, rubbing the butter in with your fingertips too.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and crack free.
Roll dough out (you may need more flour as the dough gets sticky as it warms up) to desired thickness and cut out biscuits using a cutter. I usually get 12 thickish biscuits from this recipe.
Place biscuits on greased baking sheet, spacing them out a little.
Transfer baking sheet to fridge for five minutes or so until the biscuits are firm. I've not always completed this step but if your house is warm or the biscuits are very thin it really helps them to keep their shape.
Bake the biscuits in the oven at 160°C for as long as it takes for them to start colouring at the edges slightly. I don't have an exact time when I do them, I've found the key to a nicely baked biscuit is to keep watching! Don't worry if the centres are a bit soft when you take them out, they will firm up.
Sprinkle some caster sugar over the tops of the biscuits while they are still on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack after a few minutes.
I've made star shaped biscuits at Christmas and you could of course make heart shaped ones for Valentines Day next week! If you are doing them by hand you could get the kids involved with making the dough. It might be a bit messy but it would be fun!