My Grandfather was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and therefore, was Scottish.
The Scottish are known for their kilts, their bagpipes, and Scottish shortbread cookies. 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.” Along with chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, spritzer cookies, no-bake cookies…you get the idea, right?
She would make a list of batches of cookies, multiply that by 8, then get baking. It was supposed to be a fun day baking cookies with the kids, but we would always get bored after the first cookies came out. Every year, she’d be up for hours by herself baking sheets and sheets of 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 aren’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 Scottish shortbread cookies from time to time. Especially around the holiday season. As far as recipes of 5 ingredients or less cookies, this always wins. Since my mother has passed, it’s not 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 Scottish shortbread recipe is easy to make. Once you get started, you are sure to want to make these cookies 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 Scottish shortbread cookies!
One bite and you’ll see why this cookies recipe is so popular in our home. It’s full of light, flaky layers that are perfect with tea or milk. (seriously, it’s the world’s best homemade cookies recipe ever!)
To make this traditional Scottish shortbread cookies recipe, you will need:
Ingredients For Scottish shortbread
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions to make Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- 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 rectangles.
- Poke a fork carefully into the little rectangles, creating holes, which helps with even cooking.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350°.
- Remove to cooling rack and serve.