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Walkers Shortbread Cookies--Scottish Treats Baked in the Highlands

Updated on October 9, 2017
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green enjoys whipping up tasty dishes in her home kitchen. She's received many requests for her recipes and is happy to share these.

Scottish Shortbread Fingers


Pure Butter Shortbread Baked in the Scottish Highlands.

Young 21-year-old Joseph Walker had a dream. He wanted to produce the world's finest shortbread. While he desired to open his own bakery, the ambitious lad had few resources and had to borrow the money to start his shortbread business.

Joseph's first year was spent perfecting his shortbread recipe. Instead of focusing on profit, he focused on the quality of his baked goods, working hard to get the recipes just right. Soon, locals discovered that Joseph's cookies stood out from the rest and demand grew.

So much so that Joseph had to move his business elsewhere. And a horse and a cart were used to deliver his shortbread further afield.

This was a great beginning. What happened next?

Founded in the Highlands of Scotland in 1898

A family company, still 100% family-owned and run, specializing in making pure butter shortbread.

Former Bakery of Walker's Shortbread


Walkers shortbread cookies are known the world over for their fine taste. If you've ever sampled them, you may have wondered, how did Walkers Shortbread get started?

Shortbread Cookies


Would the War End the Dream?

In the following decades, a range of cakes were introduced and were delivered via a delivery van. But events farther afield could have spelled the end of a dream.

In spite of the turbulent War years, Walkers Shortbread hung on, largely because of the quality of the shortbread produced. Joseph's sons learned the business inside and out and provided a range of cookies and oatcakes.

Walker's Shortbread Cookies are Available in 60+ Countries Around the World

Cookies are also available online from certain vendors in the UK and USA.

Walkers Commitment to Quality: No Substitutes!

Everyone knows that butter gives shortbread its distinctive flavor. Right? Apparently, some manufacturers did not. They began to cut corners and substituted margarine instead.

Joseph, however, held fast to his belief that quality shortbread could only be made using butter. He wanted his shortbread to retain the unique taste and texture it was famous for.

After Joseph's death, his sons continued their father's commitment and stuck to the original recipe. They were right on target. The business kept growing and Joesph's three children continued to produce Walkers shortbread cookies and other quality products.

Local shops began stocking Walkers shortbread and the company had to incorporate machinery and add workers to keep up with the demand. But, Walkers products were baked to the highest standard.

These efforts paid off. Soon, Walkers cookies and cakes made their way onto the shelves of Britain's finest stores.


Walkers shortbread cookies and cakes have garnered five Gold Mondiale Awards

Village of Arberlour, Scotland


Villagers of Aberlour Tested New Walkers Goodies

More changes were in the making. With increased success, Walkers Shortbread had to make additional adjustments. Exciting changes meant a new factory and more recipes. Chocolate chip shortbread and specialty cookies were produced and tested on the villagers of Aberlour.

Walkers has continued to delight customers with traditional shortbread and new recipes, such as almond and ginger shortbread--and, for choc-a-holics, chocolate covered shortbread. Imagine shortbread made with white chocolate or raspberries?

Joseph would be proud to know that his cookies and cakes remain true to his vision, containing no preservatives or flavorings and made with the finest ingredients.

Fourth-generation Walkers remain steadfast and will not sacrifice quality, making the traditional Walkers pure butter shortbread.

Walkers products come packaged in an unmistakable red tartan.

Walkers Shortbread Tradition Continues Through Generations

In the 1970s, Joseph Walker's grandchildren began exporting Walkers Shortbread to countries around the world, using the original recipe.

In short order, they won three Queen's Awards for Export Achievement.

Gluten-Free Flavors

traditional shortbread
chocolate chip

Have You Tried Walkers Shortbread Cookies?

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Commitment to Quality

It's wonderful to see a company stay true to the founder's vision and refuse to cut corners to make a profit. Walkers Shortbread has left an indelible mark not only in Scotland but around the world for quality bake goods.

© 2009 Athlyn Green


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    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 6 years ago from West Kootenays

      I love shortbread cookies.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites but I haven't trie Walkers will have to look for them and give them a try.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      I love all shortbread, tahnk you for your interesting hub.

    • Capisce profile image

      Capisce 8 years ago

      I love walkers shortbread. I really love the chocolate chip ones and the petticoats.

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 8 years ago from West Kootenays

      Thanks, this was an interesting one to write. The Walker family have made a great contribution.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      This made my mouth water. I was brought up in Scotland and I have great memories of Walkers :)

      Excellent hub :)