Eaten around Christmas, shortbread is one of the most famous Scottish cookies.  it is also an essential part of a traditional Scottish New Year - Hogmanay. The success of a "shortie" a nickname for shortbread, is to work the dough as little as possible and make sure your hands and the dishes you use are cold. The resulting shortbread will then be light and crumbly, with a delicious buttery taste. If you overwork it, too much gluten will develop, the butter will melt, and your crumb will be too chewy so... KISS - keep it simple stupid!

Scottish Shortbread Ingredients

  • 8 ounces butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 3 1/2 ounces cornstarch
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Depending on method up to: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 Shortbread (12 Servings)

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)

  • Calories 233
  • Fat 16g
  • Carbs 21g
  • Protein 1g


  • Preheat the oven to 325 F/170 C.

  • In a large bowl cream together the butter, salt, and sugar until light and fluffy and pale in color, either by hand or with the help of an electric mixer. This might take a minimum of 10 minutes.

  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cornstarch and sieve into the bowl with the butter and sugar. Mix quickly until the ingredients just come together but do not over mix. If worked too much, the dough will warm up and the shortbread will have a poor crumb.

  • Tip the mixture onto a cold and lightly floured work surface.

  • Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thick. Prick the surface all over with a fork. Cut into desired shape or rounds using cookie cutters.

  • Place the Scottish Shortbread Cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until pale brown and crisp. Once they're cooked, sprinkle the warm shortbreads with superfine sugar and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin or box.