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I don’t make a huge variety of biscuits/cookies. I don’t really find the need. Shortbread makes a great base and is so dependable. Quick and easy to make.  Endless flavour variations and a lovely light buttery crunchy mouthful. Perfect on it’s own with a cup of tea or made very thin to accompany a dessert. The basic recipe came from Rita who lives away up in the far North of Scotland. A proper shortbread recipe.

Shortbread Trivia

In Shetland a decorated shortbread was traditionally broken over a bride’s head before she entered her new home.

Shortbread was classified as a bread by bakers to avoid paying the tax placed on biscuits.

The Scottish custom of eating shortbread on New Year’s Eve derives from an ancient pagan ritual of eating Yule Cakes.

January 6th of each year is National Shortbread Day.

Basic Shortbread

8oz/225gms butter
4oz/100gms caster sugar
8oz/225gms plain flour
4oz/100gms cornflour
for a denser biscuit or rice flour for a crisper lighter texture
pinch of salt

Cream softened butter and sugar.
Add the sifted flours and salt gradually and mix well

Turn out onto a floured worktop and knead lightly into a round

Roll out and cut into biscuits
Roll into a long cylinder, wrap in cling film and set in the fridge for about 30 minutes then slice into biscuits.
Bake at 350F /180.C /160.C Fan/ Gas 4 for about 15 – 20 mins or until golden
Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while still warm.

Makes about 30 biscuits with a small cutter


Replace 50gms/2 oz flour with cocoa and/or add chocolate chips.
Add grated rind of and orange (this is lovely with the chocolate)
Add grated rind of a lemon
Add sweet spice in any combination or on it’s own such as cinnamon, mixed spice or ginger.

Use soft brown sugar to give a hint of caramel
Add earl grey tea

The possibilities are endless. Just a little imagination. They can be as plain or fancy as you like.



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