How to Make 4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread
Blog - November 8, 2021

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This is the best shortbread cookie in the world! Try my moms 4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread recipe that people beg for on the Holidays or special occasions. Your welcome.

4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread

I grew up with a British mother.  So, when we are together we drink a lot of tea.  And we use china tea cups.  No mugs.  My mom uses tea cozies and I’ve had my share of them also.  We always have a “biscuit” or butter cookies, or buttery Scottish shortbread to dunk in the tea. 

It’s just the way things are.  There are no exceptions.  This has been my life.  Tea with mom equals a tea party. 

4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread with tea, milk, teapot, sugar and napkins

Since I live in Florida, I drink it more when she comes to visit.  So, I dust off the electric kettle and bring out her china cup.  She won’t let me heat up water in the microwave like I do! That is against the British law of tea-drinking.

4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread with gingerbread cookies

Tea is her thing but it became our thing.  It’s what brings us together; mother and daughter moments.   We sit together and enjoy each other’s company drinking Bigelow.   It’s our special thing.

cup of tea with cream next to it

Keeping A Christmas Tradition with Shortbread

Through the years, every Christmas she bakes Traditional Scottish Shortbread.  Some of it goes to her boss, some to her friends, and some she sends to us.  Unless, of course we visit them for the Holidays.  Then she has some out on the counter and she hides some for later. 

Christmas will be over and just when we think we have eaten it all, more shortbread suddenly reappears around New Years. It’s interesting how that happens…It goes so fast and it’s so delicious! It is the best Scottish Shortbread in the world and she is famous for it!

This is an Authentic Scottish Shortbread Recipe

This is the best traditional traditional shortbread Recipe I’ve ever tasted and it is simple and so much easier than I originally thought.  If I knew that, I would have been making it already.

My mother and I made it together last Christmas. We had a ball and everyone ate it up before it even cooled down!  This easy Scottish Shortbread recipe is so easy, all you need is 4 ingredients; sugar, flour, corn starch, and butter. Here’s the full recipe:

4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread

Supplies

Ingredients Scottish Shortbread

ingredients for shortbread

Instructions for Scottish Shortbread

  • In a mixing bowl (use an electric mixer), stir together flour, cornstarch, and sugar (dry ingredients) (some people may use a food processor)
  • Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture is a crumbly texture.
  • With your hands, gather mixture into a bowl.
  • Place shortbread dough into an 8 or 9-inch baking pan with a removable bottom or in a 9-inch spring form pan. Firmly press dough into an even layer
  • Make impressions with the tips of a fork around the edges of the dough. Then prick the surface evenly.
  • Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 40 minutes until pale golden brown.
  • Remove from oven while at high temperature and cut into 8-12 wedges with a knife or pizza cutter.
  • Sprinkle with sugar and let cool on a wire rack. Let temperature cool completely then take out sides of the pan and lift out wedges.

Use a sharp knife to cut wedges.

Shortbread Cookie Recipe Card

4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread

4 Ingredient Scottish Shortbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Delicious 4 Ingredient Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firm butter cut into pieces

Instructions

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, and sugar. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture is crumbly. With your hands, gather mixture into a bowl. Place into an 8 or 9-inch baking pan with a removable bottom or in a 9-inch spring form pan. Firmly press out dough into an even layer
  • Make impressions with the tips of a fork around the edges of the dough. Then prick the surface evenly. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 40 minutes until pale golden brown.
  • Remove from oven while hot and cut into 8-12 wedges with a knife. Sprinkle with sugar and let cool. Let cool completely then take out sides of the pan and lift out wedges.
  • I haven’t tried this, but I’d like to try and make this using a holiday cookie cutter, cookie dough press or shortbread mold on cookie sheets. This would require a rolling pin and a floured surface. Let me know if you try it!

    Protip: Make sure you keep your shortbread cookies/ wedges in an airtight container.

    Unfortunately, this year we are not spending the holidays together.  But guess what?  Last Christmas I asked my mom to teach me how to make it and took a short video of her making it. 

    At the time, I didn’t realize that we would not be spending this year together.  As I watch the video of her hands kneading the dough, I think back to all the thousands of dinners, lunches, deserts, and cups of tea my mother has made me and I’m grateful.

    So, this year, when we wake up this Christmas morning, we will Facetime each other after she puts the kettle on and has her tea ready.  I will get my tea ready with my Scottish shortbread cookies and we will watch the kids open their gifts.

    white and grey teapot with flowers and matching teacup

    These are memories that I am carrying on for the years ahead.  My boys will have the same memories that I had.  When they have kids, we will all wake up early and I will put the kettle on for a cup of tea as we set up for gifts.

    I’m so grateful to be able to connect this way with the whole family.  Thank God for Facetime! We still get to celebrate all together, whether it’s in person on through a phone, as a family. 

    Next year, I am moving closer to my mom so we can have more of these special moments.  I can’t wait to have a cup of tea with my mom as we nibble on shortbread.

    This makes a great gift, like Christmas cookies, placed on parchment paper or wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a decorative cookie tin.

    As you think about your Holiday Festivities and who it brings together in your family, what does it mean to you? Enjoy these delicious Scottish Tea Cookies.

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    11 Comments

    1. What a beautiful tradition you have with your mom! Your tea set is so pretty and delicate-looking. I love drinking tea, especially green tea. My mom always has Constant Comment on hand for her tea breaks. The shortbread looks super yummy too!

    2. I’m not a baker, but I really love shortbread cookies with my coffee. These look surprisingly easy and quick. Maybe I will try to make these when no one is around to witness in case I am unsuccessful.

    3. Love your tea set Lucy and since the paternal side of my family is from Scotland – I love your shortbread too! I’ll definitely have to try your recipe!

    4. Wow, these sound delicious! I have never made these myself before, but they are one of my favorites! I bookmarked this for later, thanks for sharing! 🙂

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