Q: Why do shortbread biscuits spread?
There are two main reasons why shortbread-type biscuits (especially traditional Scottish shortbread) spread:
- Firstly it’s because the butter and sugar have been over creamed and too much air has been incorporated into the mixture. This extra air will expand during baking as it heats in the oven and will therefore make your biscuits spread.
- The second reason is that the dough has become too soft while mixing (which is usually because of over beating the butter).
But there is an easy solution! Make sure you only beat your butter and sugar until it is well combined and starting to change colour rather than really pale and creamy. And once you have cut out or shaped your dough make sure you chill it for at least 30 minutes before baking so that the butter can re-solidify before reaching the heat of the oven.