January 6th is National Shortbread Day.
Traditional shortbread is made from granulated sugar, butter, and flour (1:2:3 ratio by weight), and that’s all. Modern shortbread may have salt, cornstarch, powdered sugar, or spices added. It’s cooked at a low temperature to prevent browning. The final product is white or slightly golden, and it is delicate and crumbly.
A classic Scottish dessert, shortbread is enjoyed all over the UK and many parts of the world.
- Shortbread is customarily eaten on New Years Eve in Scotland.
- It was classified as bread by bakers so they could avoid paying the tax placed on biscuits (sweets).
- In Shetland, Scotland, decorated shortbread was broken over a bride’s head before she entered her new home.
Classic Shortbread Recipe
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in flour until well blended. Spread or pat on to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until just lightly browned at the edges. Remove from oven and immediately poke all over with the tines of a fork. Cut into bars, then cool completely before removing from pan. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
photo courtesy of knox_x