serious Scottish shortbread

This is the real McCoy. Seriously. Traditional Scottish shortbread. Three ingredients – flour, butter, sugar. In that order. Light on sugar, heavy on butter. Melt-in-your-mouth.

I’m not going to say anything further except that I managed to procure the treasured recipe while doing a restaurant review of Sir John’s Public House in Kingston, Ontario.

Sir John’s Public House Traditional Scottish Shortbread

(my adaptations in brackets)

12 oz plain flour (I used 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 oz white sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
8 oz unsalted butter, frozen (I used 1 cup SALTED butter, chilled)

Combine sugar and flour in large bowl. Grate the frozen butter. (I cubed my chilled butter.)

Cut butter into flour and sugar using a pastry cutter and continue until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Press into an 8×8 inch square glass pan. Prick with a fork (or not).

Bake at 325 deg from 20 – 25 minutes or until pale golden – not brown.

Cut it up however you like and store in an airtight tin.


22 thoughts on “serious Scottish shortbread

  1. I would just like to tell you that I make the best shortbread cookies in the world, and I will make you some at Christmas because I want to win over this recipe 😀

  2. Ohhhhh…. This sounds heavenly. And simple.
    The perfect cookie to bake with my 10 year old daughter….
    My only question…… what does Lola think??

    1. Oh my gosh – you are such a darling!! I’ve got about three of your recipes on my kitchen chalkboard – a soup, your kale with bacon and maple syrup, and the pasta carbonara with brussel sprouts. I need to stay home and cook full-time for a week or two! 😉

    1. You’re right Karen – best ever is always a lofty claim!!! So true. Though I did qualify with the best “I’ve ever eaten.” I’ve made it a couple of times since I had it in the pub and it hasn’t disappointed me. It’s just so solid and so old-fashioned and reliable. I’m making this for Christmas gifts this year and putting it into antique tins with taffeta ribbons.
      Loved your post on preserved lemons and cannot wait to give it a try.

      1. Love the idea of making the shortbread for gifts and giving them in antique tins. Whoever receives one will be very happy. I’m glad you like the preserved lemons. 🙂

    1. Hi Tonette! Yes – I keep getting behind too. Like the Mad Hatter – never enough time! But nice to see you here and I hope you like the shortbread if you make it – it’s a very old-fashioned recipe, straightforward and just sweet enough. 😉

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