Scottish Shortbread Cookies #FantasticalFoodFight

Scottish Shortbread Cookies are a new Christmas favorite!

Welcome to this month’s Fantastical Food Fight, hosted by Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes!  This month’s theme is shortbread cookies and I have to admit, I was less than enthusiastic when I saw the theme.

You see, my only experience with shortbread comes in the form of stale, store-bought shortbreads in a tin.  Hard, flavorless rocks.  Yuck.

Then I started doing some research and trying to figure out the difference between shortbreads, sugar cookies, and butter cookies.  It turns out that the difference ends up primarily being the ratio of butter to sugar.  Shortbreads have the highest amount of butter to the lowest amount of sugar (this did not ease my mind).  Shortbreads also have the fewest ingredients.

Traditionally, shortbreads have only 3 ingredients added in a 1:2:3 ratio.  1 part sugar, to 2 parts butter, to 3 parts flour (by weight).  As the years have passed, some additional ingredients have been added to shortbreads to ensure a tenderer cookie, namely cornstarch.

The recipe I found also swapped the white sugar for brown (lending an additional boost of flavor), and added a pinch of salt.

The resulting cookies were AMAZING!!!  I typically don’t like cookies unless they have chocolate (or at least frosting), but these are the exception to that rule.  Though some have a very light glaze (to bring out the design), I left the majority of the cookies plain.

My family loved them so much that I had to make a second batch just one week later (and I suspect a third batch before Christmas!)

Though I will still make sugar cookies each year (they’re my favorite for decorating), shortbreads are rising up as a favorite, by far!

Check out the linky below to see what everyone else came up with!

Scottish Shortbread Cookies
Recipe from The Kitchen McCabe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ¾ cup flour
¼ cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.

Add in the flour, cornstarch and salt, and stir until combined.  The mixture may be crumbly – do not over mix.

Turn out the dough and knead lightly by hand so the dough sticks together.

Roll out to dough to about 1/3-inch thickness on a floured rolling mat.  Cut out the cookies with a round cutter or a cookie stamp.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, removing from the oven just before the cookies begin to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

If using a cookie stamp, glaze the cookies with decorators icing or very very thin royal icing.  Allow the icing to dry before storing.


  1. These shortbreads look so pretty!

  2. The molded ones are so pretty, where did you find the mold?

    I made almost the same recipe. Mine used all flour, no cornstarch, plus I used dark brown sugar and added earl grey tea. Mine turned out great, too!

  3. That stamped cookie is to die for! So professional looking!! Thanks for all of the information on shortbreads!

  4. Oooh love the use of brown sugar! Your cookies are beautiful.


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