Try this Traditional Scottish Shortbread recipe with Tea or Coffee and treat yourself with this sweet goodie.
The undisturbed silence felt almost deafening. With cold, red fingers I threw a pebble into the water. The glassy surface turned to round waves as the pebble sank gurgling.
I needed to warm up but only turned away from this achingly beautiful Highland scene because the others were impatiently waiting in the car.
I see the beauty of simple things. Things that are pure.
Back home, we would have steaming coffee that I drink pure, no sugar, no milk. And Scottish Shortbread Cookies.
I dip one into the black coffee and bite off the brittle buttery shortbread finger. In my mouth, it desintegrates, releasing its sweet taste.
Perfect. Simple. But not without a twist. A secret ingredient.
After a trip to Scotland, I would always start to roll the “R” a bit. But what was more important to bring home was traditional Scottish Shortbread!
The original recipe could be tracked back to a Scotswoman and was written in 1736. Compiled so good and simple that until today this butter cookie is baked traditionally, now all around the world.
Most often they are made in the cold season and of course for Christmas. They can easily be sent in a package to loved ones.
Traditional Scottish Shortbread
You do not need much besides butter to make Scottish shortbread. Flour and sugar and that’s it. And of course the best shortbread recipe, too.
With an original shortbread cookie recipe, I make them easily at home. I even did them in Morocco despite astronomical butter prices. Because shortening or anything else to replace butter, even in parts, will spoil the whole thing.
If you want to mix things up, go for the great walnut shortbread fingers or add some chocolate chunks.
Shortbread comes in a variety of shapes with rectangular “fingers” being the most popular. Some are round, others are baked in a round cake pan and cut into little pie slices. No cookie cutters needed! Typically, they are pricked before baking so they have little spots on them which might vanish while baking.
The dough will soften in the heat of the oven. This is why shortbread is oftentimes made in a pan.
When I put it on a baking sheet and the cookie dough will not cover the full sheet I build a wall out of aluminum foil so that the dough will not spread but keep its shape.
Do not let the cookies get brown. They are supposed to stay pale yellow.
Right after baking, you need to cut the “bread” when still soft. After cooling it becomes crunchy and brittle. Cutting it then will result in crumbles. Sometimes Scottish bakers do not cut all the way through but only “mark” pieces which are then broken off when served. However, fingers are meant to be cut in pieces ready to eat right away, no fuss.
You can do it was you want. Bake the dough and cut it afterward (pictures above) OR make fingers first and bake them. See picture below.
Pst… If you hate rolling dough and cutting cookies then you might love these caramel nut drop cookies!
Scottish Shortbread cookies are great to eat, but also easy to make. The dough freezes well and can even be eaten raw. A great, great PLUS for me. I love to snack cookie dough. Make a large batch, then freeze some, eat some and bake some. Perfect!
This is a simple and yet delicious cookie which secret ingredient is salted butter. Because without it, it would be just another cookie, right? If you use unsalted butter add 1 tsp of salt to the dough.
Add Some Variety: Walnut Finger Shortbread
For walnut shortbread use only 3.5 cups (450 g) flour and add one cup (100g) chopped walnuts. Sometimes it is suggested to roast walnuts on a baking sheet before using them. I tried this but the nuts burn very easily and I stopped doing it. To me, it is not necessary because walnut shortbread is delicious anyway.
Our Scottish friends enjoy shortbread with black tea with milk and sugar. They even bring their own tea to Germany every time. But nothing will ever stop me from having shortbread with coffee.
So, now choose for yourself! Which is the best and which the second best shortbread?? I know for sure which is my favorite!
- 4 cups plain flour
- 2.5 stick salted butter
- 1 cup sugar
For sprinkling after baking
- some fine sugar
For Walnut Fingers use instead of 4 cups flour
- 3.5 cups flour
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
Knead everything thoroughly, cover with foil and cool in the fridge for 2 hours.
Roll out the dough about half an inch thick. Put it in a round baking pan or on a baking sheet. Prick it with a fork and mark fingers or pieces.
Bake at 375°F 20 to 25 minutes. Cut while still hot and sprinkle with sugar.
Finger are about 0.5 x 7 inches