Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Scottish Shortbread

Photo: Nikki
When I was a teenager, I began helping my Mama make Christmas cookies. Mostly, we worked separately, not together. One person might peer into the kitchen to see how it was going, but the cookie baker did her own thing, while the other person walked in and out. Over the years, some cookies fell to my Mama to make, and she would ask me to make certain varieties I hit upon that she liked. 

My Mama made the best butter cookies, and I don't know how to make them since she always did it. Plus, I don't have the patience to decorate them. The cookie varieties I make are done the moment, I pull a tray out of the oven. After I bake a cookie, it's annoying to have yet another step before they are ready to eat. I've mixed, laid out the dough, baked, washed bowls ... I mean, the work is done. Mom can handle starting over to decorate baked cookies. Her butter cookies are festive and delicious. What a fancy-pants, fusspot ... going back to decorate done cookies.😊

Well, this year for first time, I made a butter cookie for Christmas. But bah humbug, I'm still not going to decorate it. Therefore I made Scottish Shortbread. Same ingredients, but no colored icing, no sprinkles, no chocolate chip eyes. Just a good traditional butter cookie. Here is the recipe:

Scottish Shortbread
Photo: Gooseberry Patch


1/2 cup butter (= 4 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar (= 2 ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
a sprinkle of salt
Extra flour for the rolling surface.

Optional: I add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (none are in traditional Scottish Shortbread)

I can't get the dough to form a ball without the egg. My mom never makes butter cookies without vanilla, and my friends like the ground flax seeds, so lately I add some to all the white flour recipes I make. (For authentic Scottish Shortbread, leave these optional ingredients out.)


1) Cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg if desired.

2) Combine the flour and salt. Toss in 2 tablespoons of optional ground flax seeds.

3) Add the dry to the wet ingredients until you produce a dough. 

4) Knead for 5 minutes. If the dough gets soft, refrigerate it for a few minutes, then knead again for a minute before rolling the dough out flat on a surface. Aim for 1/2 inch thickness.🎄👑🐫

5) Cut into 1-inch width rectangle stripes. Eyeball it. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Prick the cookies with a fork.

6) Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 - 25 minutes.

Sometimes there's nothing better than a simple butter cookie. I will enjoy making these Scottish Shortbread cookies for Christmas (and teas during the year). If you must be a fancy-pants, fuss-pot (Mom) dip half of each shortbread cookie in melted dark chocolate mixed with a bit of cooking paraffin.
For a Christmas batch, I tossed in 1/4 cup of ground walnuts and 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds.
Double or triple the recipe for Christmas cookies. A single portion is the perfect amount to bake for teas. Tastier than most store-bought cookies and easy!

Photo: Mother Earth News

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1 comment:

  1. Lindas e deliciosas bolachinhas para acompanhar o chá numa tarde fria. Adorei a chávena e o pires. Feliz semana.