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Shortbread from the Scottish Highlands

When we stayed for a few months in Muir of Ord, Scotland, we told our neighbor there that we liked the shortbread from the local grocer: “Och! Rubbish!” Then she made these for us.

I’ve written the directions exactly as she gave them to me, with translations [as close as possible] where it might be helpful. Note that the recipe is uses weights: there’s too much room for error when converting weights to cups and ounces, so I’ve left them alone.

She didn’t give a baking time. Depending on the pan size (I always at least double this recipe), I start with 10 minutes and check every few minutes after that. They should be just barely tan on the bottom.

Crumbly and rich and, because of the butter, they get stale quickly.

Buttery, flaky shortbread from the Scottish Highlands.
  • 9 oz plain flour
  • 4-1/2 oz corn flour [corn starch]
  • 9 oz margarine [I've always used butter]
  • 4-1/2 oz castor sugar [white sugar]
  • pinch salt
  1. Beat sugar and butter until creamy.
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix. Mixture will be quite soft.
  3. Press into tins 7" square. (Enough to make two 7" tins).
  4. Fork all over with the fork prongs to make small holes.
  5. Take the back of a spoon and make a pattern round edges.
  6. Bake at 340° until golden. Do not over-bake.
  7. When cooked, make into fingers while hot and sprinkle with castor sugar.