Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recipe: Scottish Shortbread (Delia Smith)

Scottish shortbread is one of the most famous Scottish biscuits and is traditionally eaten around Christmas time as well as Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year eve. A good shortbread should be crumbly, dense and rich, thanks to the copious amounts of butter used.

Who better to make these Scottish shortbread for Christmas than my very own Scotsmen - Hubby and Baby D ;)

Scottish Shortbread

When making shortbread, it is important not to overwork the dough as the heat in your hands can turn the fat oily. Delia's recipe suggests beating the butter with a wooden spoon to soften it, and then gradually working it into the other ingredients. This way, you have very little contact with the mix with your hands and it is only handled at the end.

These Scottish shortbread are made with butter, caster sugar, plain flour and semolina (sugee). The addition of semolina gives it a nice crunchier texture. Do use good quality butter for this, it's all worth it, I promise you. I like using salted butter as the salt helps balance the sweetness of the biscuit. If you use unsalted butter, just add a pinch of salt to the mix.

With daddy's supervision, Baby D managed to put everything together - and boy, he did a fantastic job! These Scottish shortbread were buttery and melt-in-the-mouth. The only problem is they're so good, and each batch only makes 12 fingers, so we're all fighting at the end for the last piece! :D

A few things to note when making Scottish shortbread:
1. It is normal for them to be a pale golden brown when you remove it from the oven. It is baked at a low temperature to avoid browning.
2. Prick your shortbread before baking with a fork, as it will stop it rising up in the centre while baking.
3. Score it with a knife before and after baking while warm, to get nicely cut-out pieces of shortbread.

Baby D enjoying his first homemade Scottish shortbread

Scottish Shortbread
Recipe adapted from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/4 hour
Makes 12

175g butter, at room temperature
75g caster sugar
175g plain flour, sifted
75g semolina (suji)
Icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 150°C (no fan).

2. Place butter in a bowl, and then beat it with a wooden spoon to soften it. Then, beat in the sugar followed by the sifted flour and the semolina. Work the ingredients together with the spoon, pressing them to the side of the bowl, then finish off with your hands until you have a dough that doesn't leave any bits in the bowl.

The wee boy does a good job with the shortbread :)

3. Transfer the dough to a 8 inch (20cm) square tin, which has been lined with baking paper. Using your hands, press the dough and lightly press until it is evenly spread in the tin. Use a knife and score into 12 pieces. (6 rows x 2)

4. Use a fork and prick the shortbread all over or it will rise up in the centre while it's baking.

5. Bake the shortbread for 1 - 1 1/4 hours. Remove from oven and use a knife to score the shortbread again (as in Step 3) while it's still warm. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

6. Cut into pieces, dust with icing sugar and store in an airtight tin.

Note: I used salted butter as I like the contrast of sweet-salty flavours in my shortbread.

I am submitting this to the "Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013" event which I am hosting. You can link your recipes here.

I am also submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #7 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .

If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! Thanks :)


  1. favourite! So expensive at the shops. :(

  2. Shortbread is my favourite too; especially the Walkers brand. They are so expensive. BUT...of course we can always make this ourselves now that I have the recipe from you! The little one is at work again...and now we can watch them in video too.

  3. Awww....that's lovely shortbread for a perfect festive season...NomNom

  4. These look fantastic! Well done to your little boy for doing such a good job!

  5. delicious-looking results! ya, i do see these packaged in the supermarkets, but your freshly baked shortbread made with love and care would certainly be the best choice! :D

  6. Thanks for sharing the tips to make a perfect shortbread,definitely useful when I give it a try.
    Nice to meet you here,and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.

  7. How sweet to make this for your very own Scotsman! It looks so buttery good :D

  8. Wow you sure have been baking up a storm!

  9. Hi Yen,
    I love eating shortbread a lot! Buttery and tender, just as I like it! A cup of hot tea would be perfect!
    Thanks for sharing with CYB!

  10. Hi Yen,

    No doubt that DS recipes are always highly reproducible... but I reckon the fact that these shortbread are really good is because baby D is a fantastic baker!


  11. U have a cute little helper and the shortbread looks so inviting

  12. This looks really easy to make! I am sure I would love to eat this.


Please drop any comments or questions you may have here. Thank you so much for reading!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...