This is day 2 of our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Around the World series. Today we have Scottish Shortbread.
Shortbread was originally a medieval biscuit bread, which was a twice-baked, enriched bread roll dusted with sugar and spices and hardened into a hard, dry, sweetened biscuit called a rusk. Eventually, yeast from the original rusk recipe was replaced by butter, which was becoming more of a staple in Britain and Ireland.
Although shortbread was prepared during much of the 12th century, the refinement of shortbread is credited to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. This type of shortbread was baked, cut into triangular wedges, and flavored with caraway seeds.
Shortbread was expensive and reserved as a luxury for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve), and weddings.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the softened butter with the powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix well. At first it will be dry and crumbly, but keep mixing it and it will come together.
- Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out to 1/4-inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into rectangles.
- Poke a fork carefully into the little rectangles. This helps with even cooking.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
- Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool.