Scottish Shortbread
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Aunt Nan’s Secret Shortbread Recipe


  • Good butter ½ lb
  • Superfine Sugar ¼ lb (½ cup)
  • Flour 1 lb (3 cups plain flour, 1 cup rice flour or cornstarch)
  • Salt ½ Teaspoon


Put on your favourite CD of Scottish ballads and sing along. This definitely helps.

I used to make a pile of the flour and sugar and carefully knead the butter into it. This is traditional and takes a little practice.

Now I use my food processor to cream the butter and sugar, still using the (illegal) machine.

Then it is emptied onto a clean flat surface and as much of the remaining flour as you can work into it is kneaded to a stiff consistency. This is as authentic as Aunt Nan made but with a little less work.

Roll it out with a rolling pin to about ½ inch.

Shape in the traditional wheel. prick all over the top with a fork and pinch the edges.


I use a cookie cutter now, and it makes about 2 dozen shortbread “cookies” (you can invent your own shapes or cut it into fingers.)

Prick all over with a fork.

Put into a 325 degree oven for about 20 mins.

Check often. It should be golden.

Sprinkle with castor sugar before it cools.

Cool on a wire rack

Hide in sealed tin till Hogmanay.

Good luck with the hiding part!

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