The basic shortbread recipe is something that kids can do for themselves with a little help from you. They will especially enjoy decorating the cakes. Use whatever you have to hand to decorate the biscuits, a tube of cake icing is the only really essential ingredient as far as decoration is concerned.
For the shortbread
225g / 8oz flour
115g / 4oz cornflour
225g / 8oz unsalted or salted butter (at room temperature)
115g / 4oz superfine / caster sugar
3 drops of vanilla extract
Hundreds and Thousands, tube of cake icing, small edible cake decorations. Anything else you can think of that is edible!PREPARATION TIME: 50 minutes (includes resting pastry in fridge)
Sieve the flour and cornflour into a mixing bowl.
Sieve flour and cornflour
In another bowl, add the butter and sugar together and beat with a fork (adult help may be required because this can be tiring) for about 5 minutes until all the ingredients are mixed.
Mix butter and sugar
Add the beaten butter and sugar to the sieved flour and knead well for a few minutes to make a dough as shown on the left.
Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
Form the dough
Sprinkle flour on the work surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm (¼in). Turn the dough round as you roll it out to stop it sticking to the work surface.
Use shaped cutters to cut shapes out from the dough. You can cut out paper shapes and use these as a template to cut around with a knife. We tried it and it did the job but not nearly as good as proper cutters.
Cutting out shortbread pastry
Grease two baking trays and pre-heat the oven to Fan 160°C / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
Place the shaped dough on the baking trays and cook for around 15 minutes until they are golden brown.
Prepare to bake to shortbread biscuits
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for two minutes. Places the biscuits on a rack to cool completely.
Baked Shortbread Biscuits
Now's the fun bit, decorating the cake. You have a tube of icing and some bits and bobs (crumbled chocolate bits are also great), so get going and decorate those cakes.