Sunday, 5 December 2010

Aunt Mary Glen’s Shortbread

Aunt Mary Glen’s ShortbreadA Rich, Light Golden Colour And So Buttery How Can One Resist A Taste Of Scotland In One Or Two Little Biscuits.

Aunt Mary Glen’s shortbread was in our eyes the best in the world and Maureen and meself would always look forward to a visit to Scotland as we knew that the shortbread would be out on offer with a good cup of tea and if I was lucky or unlucky as some of the family might say, a glass of Uncle James’ home-brew.

I have had to adapt the recipe from Aunt Mary’s measure to metric and I think I have got it just about right, Aunt Mary when telling me the recipe just use to say “Oh its just a handful or 2 of flour a bit of butter, a shaking od sugar” and so on but why not try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Serves / Makes:           18 to 20 shortbreads

Prep-Time:                   10 minutes

Cook-Time:                 35 minutes

You Will Need;

200 grams, plain flour
100 grams, cornflour
100 grams, icing sugar
200 grams, butter cut into small pieces
Caster sugar for sprinkling


Sieve the flours and icing sugar together, add butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then knead together to give a stiff dough.

Divide into four and form into rounds about ¼ inch thick onto a lightly floured baking sheet, prick all over and mark into sections with a sharp knife then crimp the edges with thumb and fingers and cook at 160°C/325°F) for about 35 to 40 minutes or until pale golden brown.

Re-mark into sections and leave to cool on baking sheet and then sprinkle with caster sugar.

We almost always use a cookie cutter 2 ½ inch (7cm) to cut individual biscuits after rolling out the dough to a ¼ inch thickness, place them onto a silicone baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes.

To keep store in airtight container for up to 1 week

Serve and Enjoy!


The story of shortbread begins with the medieval "biscuit bread". Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word "biscuit" means "twice cooked". Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread. Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland, it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at New Year has its origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes that symbolised the sun. In Scotland, it is still traditionally offered to "first footers" at New Year.

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