My mother is from Scotland and this is her authentic Scottish shortbread recipe. It makes bars, not cookies!

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Ingredients

36
Original recipe yields 36 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

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  • Cream butter and sugar with mixer. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Use hands to thoroughly mix.

  • Press into a jelly roll pan. Prick to bottom all over with a fork being sure the fork hits the bottom and the pricks are close together.

  • Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 and continue to bake for 40 minutes more. Wait 2 minutes then cut into finger size bars. Cool thoroughly in pan.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Nutrition Facts

175.1 calories; 1.9 g protein; 18.8 g carbohydrates; 27.1 mg cholesterol; 1.7 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (147)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
01/25/2004
Great recipe - much like my grandmothers. I reduced the flour by 1 cup and added 1/2 tsp vanilla. Turned out less crumbly - just perfect!! Read More
(174)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
12/11/2007
I have made one batch of this recipe and I was not impressed. I spoke with my second mom (best friend's Mom) who is Scottish and she laughed at this recipe. Half salted and half unsalted butter is the way to go, according to her. And 5 cups of flour is way too much and to go with 4 to 41/2 cups to get the right consistancy. The next time I will do it her way since it was her's I was trying to replicate. She also said that the baking pan wasn't big enough and should be no more than 3/4 of an inch thick. Next time I'll roll it out instead of making bars... Read More
(105)
168 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 127
  • 4 star values: 27
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 6
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 4 stars
01/25/2004
Great recipe - much like my grandmothers. I reduced the flour by 1 cup and added 1/2 tsp vanilla. Turned out less crumbly - just perfect!! Read More
(174)
Rating: 4 stars
01/25/2004
Great recipe - much like my grandmothers. I reduced the flour by 1 cup and added 1/2 tsp vanilla. Turned out less crumbly - just perfect!! Read More
(174)
Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2008
This is an excellent recipe. I'd lost one that was almost identical and I'm so happy to have found this. The only suggestion I have is that the directions for using your hands to "mix thoroughly" may not be specific enough for some people who don't know that meand that the dough needs to be kneaded for quite several minutes at minimum. I think some of the negatTive reviews probably came about because they didn't mix it well enough. This is a purist's type of shortbread, if that's what you're looking for. I just wanted to add that you should sift the flour first. Otherwise you get a more flour than you need, resulting in a dryer dough, which can lead to a "flour-y" taste, even with kneading. If you don't sift the flour first, then you definitely need to add less flour, maybe 1/4-1/3 cup less. Read More
(110)
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Rating: 2 stars
12/10/2007
I have made one batch of this recipe and I was not impressed. I spoke with my second mom (best friend's Mom) who is Scottish and she laughed at this recipe. Half salted and half unsalted butter is the way to go, according to her. And 5 cups of flour is way too much and to go with 4 to 41/2 cups to get the right consistancy. The next time I will do it her way since it was her's I was trying to replicate. She also said that the baking pan wasn't big enough and should be no more than 3/4 of an inch thick. Next time I'll roll it out instead of making bars... Read More
(105)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2004
This is it!! I LOVE this recipe. Easy and delicious. I've been buying shortbread cookies (bar style) from a cottage industry for years just because I didn't have the recipe. This is it exactly. I had to decrease the baking time by 5 minutes and wondered about pan size. 10" x 15" is perfect. Thanks so much!!!! Read More
(103)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2004
My husband's golf shop had a Christmas Open House. Our theme was "Scottish". We had a bagpiper who is currently the world after winning a competition in Scotland. I made this shortbread and he said it was the best he had ever eaten! He took a plate of it home with him. There was also a couple from England. They agreed it was the best they had ever eaten. Easy to make and it got rave reviews from our guests. Read More
(98)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/09/2004
I read the comments and made this with 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla and 4 cups of flour. I baked it per instructions but the final time at 300 degrees was 30 minutes instead of 40. I did not have any problem with crumbs or dryness. I cut the shortbread into finger sized pieces cooled them thoroughly and then dipped one end in melted sweet chocolate rolled it in crushed pecans and chilled until firm. Read More
(83)
Rating: 4 stars
06/01/2007
I would give this five stars after some additions. I added a touch of vanilla. I halved the recipe used 1 stick of unsalted butter and 1 stick of salted butter. I also used 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 powdered sugar. (Also upped the sugar by a 1/4) I baked it in a square Pyrex pan for the recommended time and it is wonderful. I am waiting to see what the texture is once it has cooled completely but right now it is flakey and melt-in-your-mouth yummy! Read More
(48)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2003
I misplaced my shortbread recipe so looked thru here and finally found it. This is the one! Both grandparents from Scotland and Irish son-in-laws demand this cookie every Christmas. It's the best. Got this recipe originally from a church-made cookbook over 30 some years ago. Jan Weeks Read More
(41)
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2011
The first time I followed the recipe exactly it was good but a bit too dry and done. After looking at everyone's reviews I made a few alterations and it came out perfectly. Here's the summary: -Added 2 t. of pure vanilla -Reduced flour to 4 c. -Softened the butter before mixing (I stuck with the salted) -mixed it all in the Kitchenaid -kneaded it a bit before pressing into pan -Baked @ 350 degrees for 10 min then reduce to 300 degrees and bake for only 15-20 minutes. They have become our Christmas tradition and are like little bites of heaven! Read More
(39)