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How to Make a Yummy Scottish Shortbread

Updated on February 27, 2016

Scottish Shortbread

5 stars from 1 rating of Scottish Shortbread
The October Page from My International Desserts Calendar
The October Page from My International Desserts Calendar | Source

Glorious Scotland's Favorite Dessert

My Father's ancestors came from Scotland in the early days before America was America. It was a new colony of Mother England when the two brothers stepped off the ship in Massachusetts in the early 1600's. They were named MacQuarrie when they left Scotland, but somewhere along the line they shortened it to Crary. They moved west from the coast. One ended up in Northern New York near the St. Lawrence River. His descendent, my Dad, William Crary, grew up near Canton, New York, with his parents and my awesome Uncle Bob Crary. Later they moved east to the big smoke, Plattsburgh, New York on the shore of Lake Champlain. Daddy met my Mom, Ruth Matthews there. That was where I was born and lived until I was 18. Plattsburgh is the only big town in that section of New York State, and it was never really big. I believe it was around 30,000 people ( if everyone was home) while I lived there. Now it's around 20,000 people. Not only was my Father's gene pool Scottish, but my maternal grandfather, Utley Matthews was from Prince Edward Island in Canada, and his family was also Scottish.

The Isle of Mull Off the West Coast of Scotland

This is where my Father's ancestors came from in the 1600's

Anyway, I never knew a lot about Scotland until I was older. Yet, I've always had a strong attraction to butterscotch. ButterSCOTCH, you see? I do like fudge and chocolate, but I'll pick hot butterscotch mostly. I believe it's in my genes.

I always wanted to go to Scotland and I finally got the chance to go there while we were living in England. My husband Bill was working north of London in Luton, and we were living nearby in Harpenden. We put our old Jaguar on a train to Scotland one long weekend in October. We slept on the train overnight, and we woke up in Edinburgh. We had 4 days to drive around Scotland. We stayed in bed and breakfast's, our favorite method of traveling. You get all the local gossip that way. At a bed and breakfast by Loch Ness, the hosts discussed the local celebrity sea serpent, Nessy. They told us they've never seen it, but Uncle Frank had seen it. They finished the conversation by telling us that Uncle Frank "Tipped a few". It's pretty freaky that I am Scottish, and I grew up beside Lake Champlain which also has a sea serpent named Champy. I've never seen it, but my Mother saw it once, and trust me on this, my Mother never touched alcohol!

Scotland was so beautiful. All the mountains were festooned with heather and it was turning beautiful autumn shades of gold and burnt orange. I had haggis in a restaurant, I just had to try it. I wouldn't run out and look for it again, but it wasn't terrible. It's a sheep's stomach stuffed with oatmeal and lamb. Yum.

I had to buy a wooden mold for shortbread while we were there., and one of our bed and breakfast wives shared her recipe with me. It is so simple, but it tastes really good. It tastes like butterscotch!!!

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 8-12 wedges


  • 1 cup buttered, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Cream the butter using electric mixer.
  2. Add the sugar and continue creaming. Next, slowly add the flour.
  3. Press the dough into shortbread mold, if available. Remove from mold carefully and place the dough on cookie sheet.
  4. Or, if no mold is available, press the dough down into 9 inch cake pan.
  5. Bake at 325˚ F for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Let cool in pan.


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