My Grandfather was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and therefore, was Scottish.
The Scottish are known for their kilts, their bagpipes and Scottish shortbread. All three played a huge role in my childhood, actually. My mother loved to hear the bagpipes playing and would make us listen to records of songs on bagpipes. My grandfather had a kilt, and I have pictures of him wearing it. He looked so majestic, so regal.
Around the holidays, when my mother would get into a cookie baking mood, she would grab her cookbooks off the shelf and make a list. Scottish shortbread was ALWAYS on the list of “to bake cookies”.
Like any other cookie recipe in our house at that time, we would have to make triple batches to have enough to share with the neighbors. My brothers and I could barely keep our fingers out of the raw dough, too. Since there isn’t any eggs in it, you could always try the dough for yourself. If you like raw cookie dough, that is. Shortbread cookie dough tastes almost like raw pie crust. It just “misses” something when it’s not baked.
I still make these cookies from time to time. Especially around the holiday season. Since my mother has passed, it’s not really quite the same. I miss her smile, her laughter. I miss the ways her eyes would light up when she saw her grandchildren. I even miss the bagpipe music. Ah, Mom…how I miss you!
I hope you enjoy how this shortbread recipe is easy to make. Once you get started, you are sure to want to make them over and over again. Maybe you’ll want to play the bagpipes, too? Or grab a kilt and be traditional. No kilt? That’s okay, you can still enjoy the cookies!
This seriously has to be the best shortbread recipe ever. It’s full of light, flaky layers that are perfect with tea or milk.
Traditional Scottish shortbread cookies recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Begin by bringing the butter to room temp by leaving it out on the counter for 20 minutes or so.
- Mix the softened butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix well, and then bring together into a ball with your hands, the mixture will be crumbly until you do so. You’ll have to “press it” into a ball.
- Form a disk with the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out into 1/4 inch thickness.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into triangles.
- Poke a fork carefully into the little rectangles, creating holes. This helps with even cooking.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350°.
- Remove to cooling rack and serve.