Monday, 24 January 2011

Monday Makery - Shortbread Buttons

Children love to make pretend food with play dough making edible looking treats for their loveable soft and cuddly friends. I wanted to create the reverse turning an ordinarily inedible object into something quite scrummy. This recipe for shortbread buttons is an easy one to follow with just a few ingredients and minimal fuss saving the fun bit for designing the buttons themselves. I love baking with my girls and they love this idea. We serve them with knitted napkins straight from the sewing box and they love the trickery of it.

  • 250g butter at room temperature
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 35g rice flour*
  • 335g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar for sprinkling!
 * Rice flour will give your shortbread that slightly crunchy taste. Alternatively you could replace the 35g of rice flour with 35g of corn flour for a delicate melt-in-your-mouth texture. The recipe is quite versatile and if you have neither Rice flour nor corn flour just use ordinary plain flour instead. I promise it will still work.

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C or 130C for fan assisted. Grease oven trays or line with greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix the soft butter and sugar in a bowl until its smooth, its quite hard work so you might want to use an electric mixer.
  3. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until you have a dough.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface.
  5. If you'd like to make different colours and add different flavours separate the dough into small bowls. Add a few drops of your colour depending on how strong you want the colour to be, and knead the dough until so the colour works it way through.
  6. Using a round cutter (about 5cm) sprinkle it with flour, place on the baking tray. Take a tablespoon of dough and fill the cutter using the back of the spoon to smooth it. Repeat with the remaining dough using flour on the cutter to prevent it from sticking.
  7. Take a lid from a plastic water bottle and push down gently on top of each dough circle. This will make the indentation for the buttons. Now use a skewer or chopstick to make the button holes and a fork to make patterns on the edges. 
  8. Sprinkle the buttons with a little caster sugar and bake for 30 minutes or until they feel firm to touch. Cool them on the trays. I tried removing mine too early once and as they were not yet cool they fell apart! Be patient. 
  9. Once cooled you can add any further decoration, dip the sides in melted chocolate, or drizzle patterns of chocolate or icing over the top. 
 This should make about 26 buttons but that'll depend on how much you eat as you're going!

If you would like to give each set of buttons a different flavour you might like to add some chocolate chips or try adding a little (1tsp) espresso powder for a coffee flavour. To make stripy buttons you could try dipping the sides of the buttons into melted chocolate! We like to add orange and lemon zest to our yellow buttons for a little zing. Quite often I'll let the girls choose the flavours. Trying to match a flavour to a colour. Cinnamon is a warm taste so this works well with the red buttons. They like being inventive and occasionally we end up with a winner. The point is the recipe is so very easily varied with colour and flavour once you've got a little experimental with them you'll see how fun they are to make and truly scrumptious to eat too.

These make great birthday party treats. We made them as part of our Alice in Wonderland party where everything is not as you would think.


  1. I love baking with my daughter as well and we are always very good in entertaining the little one with it... I actually think he is already like "these girls are nuts" :)

  2. Fantastic! what a wonderful idea. I'm defiantly going to have a go at these with the boys next time we have a baking day.

  3. These look gorgeous! Think we'll give these a a go....