This is a medieval Scottish shortbread recipe. It has been a holiday favorite for my family and friends for years. The shortbread keeps very well in an airtight tin or tightly wrapped in tinfoil.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice and salt. Divide into two equal parts, and set one aside. Add the flour and butter to the other half, and stir until blended. It should be slightly grainy.

  • Press the dough evenly into an 8 inch square pan. Cut into 1x2 inch pieces using a knife, and prick with the tines of a fork. This will keep the shortbread from warping while baking. Sprinkle the reserved sugar and spice liberally over the top, brushing into all of the cuts and holes.

  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden at the edges. Do not brown. Cool completely in the pan, and break into pieces along the lines to serve.

Cook's Note:

This recipe is really designed to be baked in a shortbread pan, which I highly recommend.

Nutrition Facts

567 calories; protein 6.9g 14% DV; carbohydrates 65.4g 21% DV; fat 31.3g 48% DV; cholesterol 81.3mg 27% DV; sodium 413.5mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2008
I've made this recipe two times now. The first I followed the recipe exactly. The second time, I added all but 2 tbs of the sugar/spice mixture into the flour before mixing in the butter. I then sprinkled the 2 tbs on top after scoring the shortbread. I also baked in my brownie pan (9X10) instead of the 8X8 as suggested. Great recipe, great spice mixture. Don't omit the cardamon, even if you have to go out and buy some just for this recipe. It is a very fragrant spice and really adds to the taste. Read More
(53)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
01/03/2008
Ugh! What a disappointment! I LOVE shortbread and LOVE the spices the recipe calls for but this did not work! The shortbread itself was heavy and floury rather than light and melt-in-the-mouth. And I found the spices distracting rather than complimentary. Sorry just not my cup of tea. Read More
(13)
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
07/28/2008
I've made this recipe two times now. The first I followed the recipe exactly. The second time, I added all but 2 tbs of the sugar/spice mixture into the flour before mixing in the butter. I then sprinkled the 2 tbs on top after scoring the shortbread. I also baked in my brownie pan (9X10) instead of the 8X8 as suggested. Great recipe, great spice mixture. Don't omit the cardamon, even if you have to go out and buy some just for this recipe. It is a very fragrant spice and really adds to the taste. Read More
(53)
Rating: 5 stars
08/22/2007
This deserves a lot more reviews than it has received. It was really delicious and different yet appealing to a wide variety of tastes. Everyone I served these to loved them. One thing I should note is that the mixture looks like sand when you press it into the pan but will come together as it bakes so don't worry. It's not too sweet and keeps well so you can make it in advance. Read More
(39)
Rating: 4 stars
06/28/2009
We really liked these. They melt in your mouth! I didn't have any superfine sugar but I whirled some regular sugar in my food processor which did the trick. The flavor is very subtle but letting the cookie dissolve in your mouth lets you get the full effect. Thank you for the recipe Tech! I will add it to my collection. Read More
(24)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/18/2006
Excellent recipe-I did not change a thing. This serves 6 with VERY generous servings so could most likely serve 12. I will definitely make again!! Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2006
Wonderful cookies. I cut into small squares after they had cooled for a bit. Taste great! A new annual! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
12/28/2010
This is delicious. I made it as described but opted for a 9 inch square pan. The result at full baking was both a little undercooked in the center and over crisped on the outside. Next time I'll go with a 10 inch pan and instead of sprinkling half the sugar over top I'll reduce that to 1/4 on top 3/4 inside. A nice shortbread with a wee tweak. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 2 stars
01/03/2008
Ugh! What a disappointment! I LOVE shortbread and LOVE the spices the recipe calls for but this did not work! The shortbread itself was heavy and floury rather than light and melt-in-the-mouth. And I found the spices distracting rather than complimentary. Sorry just not my cup of tea. Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
09/17/2007
I would love to make this again. It's really tasty and I like the middle ages part. Wouldn't it be good with wine? Could someome tell me how to make it less crumbly? I cooked it in a cast iron pan spread about 1" thick. Also is it supposed to bake to a graham cracker brown color? Thanks! Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
12/29/2005
My new favorite for Christmas. Read More
(10)
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