Dough for Scottish Shortbread rolled on a table top with a rolling pin.

Scottish Shortbread

Summary: Scottish Shortbread is a classic recipe that every Scotsman grows up eating. Shortbread is a well know favourite. Often found around Christmas and New Year or shortly after on Burns Night, hardly a year goes by when I don’t receive a tartan clad tin of shortbread. However, I rarely eat the stuff now that I have become an expat, living away from my homeland. If I want shortbread now, I have to cook the stuff myself. And you know, I reckon that my own is better than many of those fancy tin box versions.

Ingredients for Scottish Shortbread

  • 50 g Castor Sugar
  • 100 g Butter
  • 150 g Plain Flour

Instructions for Scottish Shortbread

The ingredients for this recipe are so simple. It’s just flour, butter and Sugar in the ratio of 3:2:1. Very easy to remember. Ideally, the butter should be left out of the fridge for some time to allow it to soften slightly. However, don’t let it melt.

Firstly place the sugar and butter into a large bowl. Use your hands to combine them together. Now add half the flour and by hand, rub the flour into the butter. Add the second half of the flour and rub in until the mix comes together as a ball of dough.

place the dough on a floured surface and use a rolling-pin to roll it down to about 6 or 7mm thickness (about 1/4 inch). The dough is now ready to be cut to shape. Many shapes are possible, you can rectangular fingers, round biscuit or you can keep it as one big piece and break it apart later. If you have a pastry cutter, this will help you to make neat shapes.

Cut your shapes and place on a baking tray. Put the dough into a preheated oven at gas mark 4 (180°C) for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they look golden coloured.

Once out of the oven, dust the top of the shortbread with sugar. Allow the to cook a little before touching them. Once cooled, use a knife to lift the shortbread from the baking tin. This shortbread keeps quite well in an airtight box.

Quick Notes

I’ve seen this dough used as the base for some dessert pies including cheese cakes. My mother used to make “American shortbread” which was the same biscuit but covered with caramel and chocolate.

Preparation time: 10 min

Cooking time: 20 mins

Total time: 1 hour 30 min

Yield: 8 servings

Diet type: Vegetarian

Meal type: dessert

Culinary tradition: Scottish

By Rincewind42

My rating:5 stars: ★★★★★

Scottish shortbread photo by a.pasquier

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