This traditional Scottish shortbread recipe makes a crispy biscuit that melts in your mouth on every bite. Butter is the key.
Shortbreads are my favourite but I’m not a fan of those recipes that use a lot of flour and grainy sugars. They just don’t have the same flavour and texture.
Traditional shortbreads use a lot of butter. There’s a whole history around that dating way back before 1736. Apparently, the recipe was perfected and refined by Mary, Queen of Scots. Super cool, eh? You can read more about the history of Scottish shortbreads here.
So back to this recipe, it also calls for cornstarch and icing sugar. Combine that with butter and no wonder it produces a beautifully crisp biscuit that melts in your mouth. That’s my kind of shortbread. If it’s yours too, give this simple recipe a try.
Shortbread Recipe Notes:
If you over-mix the dough, the cookie may turn out too chewy. I just use my hands for a quick mix and then press out the dough on a cookie sheet. Then I score the dough to make little rectangles. Using a fork, I poke the traditional Scottish pattern into each biscuit.
Another option is to roll the dough out and make Christmas cookies using cookie cutters. You can also make cream cheese icing and decorate the cookies after they are baked.
For chocolate lovers, you can make a chocolate dip and dip half the cookies or biscuits. I found this homemade chocolate dip recipe but haven’t tested it. If you try it, let me know how it goes in the comments section below.
I find making this traditional Scottish shortbread so therapeutic. It’s like making an edible craft. Put on some Christmas music, pour a cup of hot cider, and enjoy the process.
There are so many other ideas to explore, but I would like to know what you do with your shortbread cookies. Post your ideas, tips, tricks and anything else you’d like to share in the comments section.
Traditional Scottish Shortbread
- 1.5 cups softened butter
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Mix with your hands until you form a big ball of dough.
- Transfer dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and press the dough to cover the whole sheet. Using a knife, score the dough to shape small rectangular biscuits. Using a fork, poke each biscuit with the traditional Scottish pattern.
- Bake at 300 F for 20 – 30 minutes, until the bottoms are very lightly browned
- Transfer to a paper towel-covered wire rack to cool.
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