Thanks to Grannie's old fashioned recipes for shortbread cookies, you can make delicious shortbreads with a rich, buttery, Old Country taste. And the good news is they're easy enough for a child to make with a wee bit of help. You won't have any trouble making them.
I was in such a hurry to taste the shortbread when I made the cookies pictured above that I didn't take time to shape them properly. They aren't fancy looking, but they tasted buttery delicious. Believe me, everyone will rave about your rich, melt-in-your-mouth shortbreads when you use a traditional butter shortbread cookie recipe that was prized by generations of cooks.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
Several of these old fashioned recipes for shortbread cookies originated much earlier than the 1920s, as they were used by my Grannie Bell years before Mom copied them into her scrapbook. Grannie learned how to make shortbread as a young girl living in Uphall, Scotland.
1/2 cup brown sugar, fruit sugar, or icing sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream together, add flour slowly, and when a stiff dough is formed, turn out onto a floured board. Gradually knead in the flour till dough begins to crack. Roll out 1/4 inch thick, cut in fancy shapes, and bake in a slow oven (325°F to 350°F) until shortbreads are slightly browned, about 25 minutes.
1/2 cup brown or fruit sugar or icing sugar, 1 cup butter, 2 cups flour. Cream the butter, add the sugar gradually and cream together thoroughly. Add flour slowly. When a stiff dough is formed, turn out on a floured board. Gradually knead in flour till the dough begins to crack. Roll out 1/4 inch thick, cut in fancy shapes and bake in a slow oven until slightly browned.
1 cup icing sugar, 2 cups butter, 4 cups flour. Mix well, knead until the dough begins to crack, shape into a round cake about 1/2 inch thick, crimping the edge like a pie crust, or roll out and cut like cookies, or prepare as you would icebox cookies. Bake on ungreased tins in a slow oven until delicately browned. Allow the shortbread to cool on the tin.
3 cups flour, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 cup butter. Cream butter until soft, then work in sugar mixture. Tip sugar mixture onto flour and work in well. Cut into squares or shapes, or press mixture into a greased pan and bake 30 minutes in a moderate oven. Cool on rack.
Whether it's store-bought or homemade, it's hard to resist eating shortbread cookies. Walkers is currently the largest Scottish manufacturer of high quality butter shortbreads, exporting to over 60 countries. They also carry a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II to supply their bakery goods to the Households of Her Majesty.
Ever since the company opened its doors in 1898, the company has never strayed from their goal to sell the world's finest brand-name shortbread. Flour, sugar, butter, and salt are the only ingredients used in Walkers' shortbread recipe, and the secret to the wonderfully buttery taste is Walkers' emphasis on using only the purest, highest quality ingredients and the care they put into its making.
Shortbread originated in Scotland in the 16th century during the reign of Elizabeth I. It was traditionally made with fresh butter and ground oatmeal, but eventually fine flours were used as they became available.
It was the custom to add small comfit candies and fine slices of candied orange and candied lemon peel when it was served at feasts celebrating Christmas and the New Year, and sometimes a sprinkle of caraway seeds was customary for flavor.
Today, we continue the festive custom by pressing pieces of blanched almonds, citron, peel, or candied cherries into each shortbread cookie just before baking. When I was a kid, decorated cookies always seemed to taste better than the plain ones. Did you think so too?
Enjoy trying the old fashioned recipes for shortbread cookies. The secret to knowing how to make shortbread is to use the best quality ingredients and bake at a low temperature to avoid over browning. It should be almost white or light brown in color when done.