The History of Shortbread

The History of Shortbread

Have you ever enjoyed the dense delicacy that is shortbread cookies? Did you know they originated in Scotland and could date back to the 12th century? These traditional cookies have a high butter content and traditionally had a recipe of one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. The more modern recipes include dipping them in chocolate or other delicious glazes or creating different shapes to fit the occasion. If you’ve never made shortbread cookies now is as good a time as any. They are simple to make and could quickly become a staple in your baking repertoire. Try out this recipe from Martha Stewart!


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup confectioners' or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-inch round cake or springform pan. Sift together flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, cream butter until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add sugar, and continue to beat until very light in color and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes more. Add flour mixture, and beat on low, scraping bowl if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.
Pat dough into prepared pan. Use a paring knife to score dough into wedges; prick all over in even intervals with a wooden skewer or fork.
Bake until firm in the center and just starting to color, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cut into wedges. Cookies will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature 3 weeks.

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