Try this Scottish Shortbread recipe with Tea or Coffee and treat yourself with this sweet goodie. With this recipe, Scottish Shortbread can easily made at home from scratch! Print the best recipe for traditional Scottish Shortbread cookies below!
The undisturbed silence felt 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.
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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 Scottish shortbread finger. In my mouth, it desintegrates, releasing its sweet taste.
Perfect. Simple. But not without a twist. A secret ingredient.
Scottish shortbread Souvenirs
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 cookies!
The original recipe could be tracked back to a Scotswoman and a written copy of a Scottish Shortbread recipe tracks back to 1736. Compiled so good and simple that until today this Scottish butter cookie is baked traditionally, now all around the world.
Most often Scottish Shortbread cookies are made in the cold season and of course for Christmas. They can easily be sent in a package to loved ones.
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Traditional Scottish Shortbread Recipe
You do not need much besides butter to make Scottish shortbread. Flour and sugar and that’s it. And of course the best scottish shortbread recipe, too.
Print your recipe for scottish shortbread cookies below.
Then, get the ingredients. They are salted butter, sugar, and flour.
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 cookies come 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, Scottish Shortbread cookies are pricked before baking so they have little spots on them which might vanish while baking.
Scottish shortbread Hacks
The dough will soften in the heat of the oven. This is why shortbread is oftentimes made in a pan. You can use a pan to make my Scottish Shortbread recipe for best results.
When I put Scottish Shortbread 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 cookie dough will not spread but keep its shape.
Do not let Scottish Shortbread 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 shortbread cookies 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, shortbread fingers are meant to be cut in pieces ready to eat right away, no fuss.
Do as you please. 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 super easy to make caramel nut drop cookies! Mix the dough, drop it, bake it, eat it. Yummy!
Scottish Shortbread cookies are great to eat, but also easy to make with the recipe I share. The dough freezes well (Hello Freezer Baking!) and can even be eaten raw. A great, great PLUS for me. I love to snack cookie dough. Make a large batch of this Scottish Shortbread recipe, then freeze some, eat some and bake some. Perfect!
This is a simple and yet delicious butter 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
Here is a Scottish Shortbread recipe variation: 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 Scottish shortbread with coffee.
So, now choose for yourself! Which is the best and which the second best shortbread recipe?? I know for sure which is my favorite!
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And finally, the Scottish Shortbread Cookie Recipe for you to follow along and print out. You can easily make more dough and freeze some. Learn how to freeze and defrost cookie dough without regrets in this post.
Print the recipe right here:
- 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
All Images, except featured image: Depositphotos (affiliate link)
Featured image source: Canva
Not a traditional Scottish shortbread. You must cut the butter into the sugar and flour as you would if you were making a good flaky pie crust. Done this way, the dough is firm and does not spread. The cookie is crunchy and there are still identifiable grains of sugar in the cookie. If you want something soft and puffy, go for sugar cookies.
Carolin Eichholz says
That’s funny! That’s exactly how we do it in Germany. 🙂
How many grams is a cup of flower in this recipe? Or what volume is it? 200 ml? 230ml?
Carolin Eichholz says
What on earth is a “stick” of butter??
Carolin Eichholz says
A stick of butter equals 113 gram.
I’m so glad you asked! I will make over the recipe. We don’t even have butter sticks here in Germany but 250 gram packages.