serious Scottish shortbread

September 29, 2013
Scottish Shortbread

This is the real McCoy. Seriously. Traditional Scottish shortbread. Three ingredients – flour, butter, sugar. In that order. Light on sugar, heavy on butter. Melt-in-your-mouth.

I’m not going to say anything further except that I managed to procure the treasured recipe while doing a restaurant review of Sir John’s Public House in Kingston, Ontario. It’s the best shortbread I’ve ever eaten. Full stop.

Sir John’s Public House Traditional Scottish Shortbread

(my adaptations in brackets)

12 oz plain flour (I used 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 oz white sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
8 oz unsalted butter, frozen (I used 1 cup SALTED butter, chilled)

Combine sugar and flour in large bowl. Grate the frozen butter. (I cubed my chilled butter.)

Cut butter into flour and sugar using a pastry cutter and continue until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Press into an 8×8 inch square glass pan. Prick with a fork (or not).

Bake at 325 deg from 20 – 25 minutes or until pale golden – not brown.

serious Scottish shortbread

Cut it up however you like and store in an airtight tin.

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  • Reply apuginthekitchen September 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Oh wow, a recipe for real Scottish shortbread. I can’t wait to try this. How do you think it would hold up in holiday gift boxes?

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen September 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      I think this would be perfect in holiday gift boxes and would stand up really well. It’s sturdy stuff! And wouldn’t it be gorgeous in red tins with plaid ribbons. Oh – we’re onto something now! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Jessica September 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I would just like to tell you that I make the best shortbread cookies in the world, and I will make you some at Christmas because I want to win over this recipe πŸ˜€

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen September 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      A bake-off. I cannot wait. HURRAY. Let’s have a Christmas (oh sorry – I meant holiday) cookie exchange?!

  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer September 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Ohhhhh…. This sounds heavenly. And simple.
    The perfect cookie to bake with my 10 year old daughter….
    My only question…… what does Lola think??

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen September 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      Lola is very fond of these. And she also had some fig and olive tapenade today. But best of all – she likes visiting her “anti-gen”! xo

      • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer September 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm

        And of course anti-gen LUBS her!!

  • Reply johnnysenough hepburn September 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Shortbread is one of the few biscuit-y type things I’ve always loved. And yet I’ve never made them. SablΓ©, yes. Just a few weeks ago. Will be trying these out ASAP!

  • Reply tinywhitecottage September 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Me too! I’m going to make these too Lindy. I am in awe and can not believe only 3 ingredients. I love shortbread…I never imagined it would be so simple. Buttery goodness for sure.

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Oh my gosh – you are such a darling!! I’ve got about three of your recipes on my kitchen chalkboard – a soup, your kale with bacon and maple syrup, and the pasta carbonara with brussel sprouts. I need to stay home and cook full-time for a week or two! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Ada ~ More Food, Please September 30, 2013 at 12:51 am

    This looks delicious! Shortbread is my favorite πŸ˜€ Love how it tastes so good with only 3 ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Eliza B October 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Oh okay now I know what I’m making tomorrow. Any excuse to eat more butter.

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Yes to more butter! A girl after my own heart. None of this low fat anything!! And give Jethro some butter while you are at it! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Karen October 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    The best ever…I must make this. Thank you for getting the recipe and sharing it with your friends.

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

      You’re right Karen – best ever is always a lofty claim!!! So true. Though I did qualify with the best “I’ve ever eaten.” I’ve made it a couple of times since I had it in the pub and it hasn’t disappointed me. It’s just so solid and so old-fashioned and reliable. I’m making this for Christmas gifts this year and putting it into antique tins with taffeta ribbons.
      Loved your post on preserved lemons and cannot wait to give it a try.

      • Reply Karen October 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm

        Love the idea of making the shortbread for gifts and giving them in antique tins. Whoever receives one will be very happy. I’m glad you like the preserved lemons. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tonette Joyce October 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I will have to try this…sorry i t took me so long to get back.I keep getting all backed-up.Every other shortbread recipe I have come across asks for powdered sugar.

    • Reply A Taste of Wintergreen October 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Hi Tonette! Yes – I keep getting behind too. Like the Mad Hatter – never enough time! But nice to see you here and I hope you like the shortbread if you make it – it’s a very old-fashioned recipe, straightforward and just sweet enough. πŸ˜‰

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