Thursday, December 18, 2014

Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread. Just the name brings back happy memories of Christmas as a kid. THIS is the recipe that gives my blog it's namesake. My Dad used to make this at Christmas for as long as I can remember. We never had it any other time of the year (probably because it's SO unhealthy!), but it made Christmas that much more special knowing that we'd be getting this special treat. Although, I guess that was true to the history of Scottish shortbread, as it was originally a luxury only reserved for special occasions like Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year''s a 7 day's amazing...don't you wish you were Scottish too?!), and weddings. If you've ever had shortbread cookies from the store.........this is NOTHING like them! It's SO. MUCH. BETTER. It's addictive...seriously. My Dad's Mom was born in Scotland, so it's legitimately a true Scottish recipe! Is it hard to make? Nope! Couldn't be simpler. What's in it? Ohhh, lots of unhealthy stuff! (Pre-diabetic Paula Deen would approve). Here's the recipe in a nutshell: combine 2 sticks of softened butter (yes, you read that right!), regular WHITE granulated sugar, and flour in a mixer. Put in pan. Cook in oven. Let cool. See how easy that is?? Honestly, I didn't even realize how easy it was until yesterday! I finally decided to attempt to make it and give it as Christmas gifts to my Speech department at work. That's when I was shocked how simple it was! But there's a method. When you put it in the pan (can be an 8x8 square or 9" round pan), you have to make a mound in the middle so that the sides rise evenly. And the middle is going to be a little bit more "mushy" than the outer edges initially, but it WILL harden as it cools. When it's done, it should be white-golden in color. It's pretty amazing when it's eaten still warm (as can be seen from the missing pieces in the picture!), but it's just as good after it's cool too.

This is what it will look like after mixed. You'll be able to just pick it up and mold it.

 And this is the finished product. It's SO. GOOD. And yes, I DID have to taste test those to make sure it turned out right! Clearly, my photography skills aren't advanced.

 When it's still warm (or even after it's cooled) cut it into squares, triangles, or rectangles.

This is also a great gift idea, and it's very inexpensive too. I found some decorative salad plates on sale at Target (less than $5!), already had some wire ribbon (bought it on sale for about $1.50 at Wal-Mart last year), and already had the gift tags (Hobby Lobby last year, about $2 or less on sale). Just fill up the plate with the shortbread, cover with some saran wrap, cut an extra long piece of ribbon and tie around to make a big, pretty bow- threading the gift tag into one of the strands of ribbon before making the final tie on the bow. Easy, inexpensive, pretty, and yummy!

Merry Christmas!

(Side note: I sure hope this wasn't a family secret, because I'm posting it without my Daddy's permission!)

Scottish Shortbread
1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature (or soften slightly in microwave- don't melt it though!)
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda (optional- to make it fluffier)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in an electric stand mixer, adding flour 1 cup at a time. After mixed, place in ungreased 8x8 square pan (there's enough butter in the shortbread that you don't need to grease the pan!). Shape in pan so that the shortbread is slightly mounded in the middle and pick all over with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Middle should be slightly mushy still (will harden as it cools). Remove from oven and pick all over with fork again. Let cool on wire rack and cut into squares, triangles, or rectangles (fingers).

Bon Appetit-


  1. Those look really good Megan! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas - hugs!

    1. Thanks Biz! It's SO addicting! But worth it! :) Happy New Year!