Scottish Shortbread Recipe
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Scottish Shortbread Recipe

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Meet the Cook: Scottish settlers first came to this area over 150 years ago. My mother herself was Scottish, and - as with most of my favorite recipes - she passed this on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and as gifts. When I entered Scottish Shortbread at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. As long as we have been married - and that's 54 years - my husband and I have lived on a farm. We are retired, and we have five grown children. -Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min./batch
MAKES:48 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min./batch
MAKES: 48 servings


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Nutritional Facts

2 each: 123 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3-3/4 cups flour and mix well. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut into 3-in. x 1-in. strips. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with fork. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Originally published as Scottish Shortbread in Country Woman July/August 1995, p29

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jeanemed User ID: 1512060 252801
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2016

"Very good. I like this better the recipe we used when I was a child. I make them smaller though--1 inch by 2 inches. These expand more than my old recipe did so I can't put them as close on the cookie sheet."

MY REVIEW User ID: 8813758 245872
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2016

"I love this recipe! I have made this shortbread a couple of times and have sent to friends who rave about them. Right after piercing with the fork, I sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top before baking. It just adds a little more sweetening on the top! Thank you!"

msrigo User ID: 7048613 244153
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2016

"I read the reviews. I was so excited to bake these cookies. I LOVE shortbread.

I was so disappointed. These are so bland and dry. I even tried variations. Nothing I did changed the shortbread.
I'm sorry but these are not good at all to me."

melissasueryan User ID: 8774330 243992
Reviewed Feb. 17, 2016

"I would like to start by saying I usually NEVER leave a review. I read them but don't leave them. I create an account JUST so I could give credit to this recipe. I have tried about 13 different variations with shortbread. Playing with amounts, ingredients and temperature. This recipe was hands down the BEST I've ever made. The texture was flaky and delicate. The flavor was buttery and sweet with a hint of vanilla. I rolled them thin, cut them out and pricked them with a fork. Cooked them at 315 degrees for 18 minutes. They were absolutely perfect, and exactly what we were trying to re create. Thank you!"

Lea2u User ID: 8705146 242130
Reviewed Jan. 20, 2016

"Everyone loves them & can't believe it' takes only 3 ingredients to make."

Corwin44 User ID: 7541400 240770
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2016

"This was excellent shortbread! Coming from a Scottish family we have shortbread for every holiday and I made this version for Hogmanay (New Years). Some don't think it's "real" shortbread if rice flour and castor sugar isn't used in the recipe. Many people will use about a 1/2 cup of rice flour and 4 cups flour. Castor sugar is somewhere in between white sugar and powdered sugar (you can make this in a food processor using white sugar). However, many don't have these ingredients on hand and shortbread is just flour, sugar, and butter (and a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter), so why not mix it up? Not everyone's recipe for any dish is the same and this is a great shortbread. My shortbread was done after 18 minutes (ovens vary just as recipes do). I will definitely be making this easy and tasty shortbread again."

ReaganDobler User ID: 8669218 239809
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2015

"My grandmother was born and lived in Glasgow, Scotland until she was in her twenties. Her family had a working farm and they raised every bit of food that they ate. Everything was homemade even their butter and cheeses! This shortbread recipe is exactly what she made for all of us. She passed it down to my Mom and now both of my sisters and I make it too. We are in our 60's... So yummy! Grandma made shortbread every week and it was always in a jar all by itself next to her coffee pot. She cooked on a wood burning stove until I was 15 years old! (by choice) Her Scottish Shortbread was the best that I have ever eaten. All of Grandma's food was simply amazing as she used the freshest, purest ingredients always. This recipe is easy and delicious. Thank you for sharing this with others. I can smell my Grandmothers kitchen just looking at it!"

Gran32 User ID: 8661470 239377
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2015

"A recipe from the Land of the Selkirk Settlers? No wonder it's a winner. I lost my Granny's recipe so am thrilled to find this as I recognise the pound of butter and 4 cups flour. Though Granny used the lighter Golden Yellow sugar, I tried it with Brown, and I think I like it better. Sorry Granny."

Aubey User ID: 8661459 239373
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2015

"Thank you, this recipe is fabulous and just as good, if not better, than the shortbread I was buying at the local Scottish bakery. All my friends and family love this shortbread and it disappears very quickly. I don't understand the comments about it not being traditional Scottish shortbread as shortbread is basically flour, sugar and butter, of which this recipes consists. Like bread the key to success is not so much ingredients as method, you gotta knead this this dough sufficiently to get the best finished cookie texture. I knead mine for between five and ten minutes. These are very hard to resist hot out of the oven."

ClydeWoman User ID: 7322761 239319
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2015

"This recipe most DEFINITELY deserves an award. My friend has been bringing these to the past 3 cookie parties and they are the best shortbread I have ever had!"

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