Scottish Shortbread – #1 Requested Cookie

This is my number one requested cookie of all time at Christmas.  Although the recipe is not requested  – who wants to know how many sticks of butter did I really use?  When indulging during the holidays, you don’t.  But if you want some really tasty shortbread, this is my favorite.

I am partial to this recipe too because you do not use a mixer.  It’s made with love and your own two hands!  Just like they used to make it.

Scottish Shortbread
yield 1- 9×13 pan

1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon water
1 pound butter, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for garnish

1.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  In a large bowl, pour sugar in and sprinkle with water.  Cream the butter into the sugar with a large wooden spoon.

2.  Add flour and salt.  Knead the dough with your hands for about 5 minutes or more.  The dough will pull away from your hands and the sides of the bowl.

3.  Press dough into a 9×13 pyrex/glass baking pan.  Spread flat.  Prick with fork.  Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar on top and bake for about 1 hour or until pale golden.

4.  While hot, cut the dough with a pizza cutter.  Let cool.

Updated Alternate method:  To obtain the traditional shortbread wedge shape, grease a 9″ springform pan and line with parchment on the bottom.  Divide dough in half (mine was 2 lbs and 7.4 oz total, so I divided that in half) and press into the pan.  Poke with toothpick or fork.  Bake 35-45 minutes at 275 degrees.  It should be light golden brown and just a tad darker on the edges.  Let cool about 5 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan and cut with a pizza cutter.

Do NOT try and freeze the dough.  I did this and the cookies tasted just great, but they crumbled like crazy, so we ate half a pan of crumbles.

Sometimes the cookies will take longer than one hour.  Just keep an eye on the color.  I’ve never had them under or overdone.

Recipe originally from

Recipe from


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