I started out making shortbread using a 1, 2, 3 recipe method:

  • one cup icing sugar
  • two cups butter
  • 4 cups flour

Halfway through I realised I'm going to make just about 3 cups of flour. I continued, but the dough seems too soft and buttery. I refrigerated it.

Can I add another cup of flour tomorrow?

  • 2
    Just for clarification: does 1-2-3 mean by volume? And wouldn’t this mean three cups of flour? Or is it 1-2-4? – Stephie Oct 10 '18 at 20:56
  • I used this recipe, but see the quantities bandied about often : biggerbolderbaking.com/3-ingredient-shortbread-cookies – crafter Oct 10 '18 at 21:18
  • @crafter this is a pretty nonstandard thing. The standard American 1-2-3 flaky pie crust uses water, butter and flour by weight. There are short recipes which use sugar, not water, as the 1, but they are still by weight. Your recipe does not use a 1-2-3 ratio, not by weight and not even by volume, I guess that's why Stephie asked for clarification. – rumtscho Oct 10 '18 at 21:34

While I am not entirely certain that it will work, there is a good chance that it will be OK if you do it that way. Pie crusts are relatively unchanged after a refrigeration period. Considering the relative prices of flour and butter, and the effort you already put in, I would be more inclined towards continuing tomorrow rather than throwing it right away.

By the way, the recipe you are using is quite unusual. European 1-2-3 shortbread cookie recipes (not to be confused with 1-2-3 flaky pie dough, or with the less buttery 1-2 cookie recipes) have a 1-2-3 ratio by weight, and are not creamed. The recipe you are using is trying to be 1-4-5 if you look at their conversion, but the conversion factor is also rather unusual, with two cups of flour more likely to be around 250 g than 300 g. Since you are measuring your flour by cups and your butter by ounces, you would most likely end up with a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour instead the classic 2:3. So add your flour, but pay attention to the dough and, if the first batch of cookies ends up with a weird consistency after baking, or melts outright in the oven, consider adding more flour, possibly a whole cup to your double batch.

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Sure you can, shortbread dough can be refrigerated or frozen without any issues, there's no reason you can't add the flour a day later. Coming from the fridge it will be a bit stiff but nothing you can't work with.

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