Classic Scottish Shortbread

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quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 shortbread wedges

Recipe photo

Because of its climate, Scotland's national grain has traditionally been the oat. This shortbread recipe is a toast to this tradition, using ground oats in addition to the standard all-purpose flour to create thick slabs of shortbread with crumbly/crunchy texture and delightfully nutty/buttery flavor.

Classic Scottish Shortbread

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 shortbread wedges
Published: 07/27/2012

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • generous 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 cup oats, traditional or quick
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • *If you use salted butter, reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon

Tips from our bakers

  • For more traditional shortbread, reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. The Scots generally prefer their shortbread less sweet.

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" round cake pan.

2) The easiest way to make the dough is in a food processor. Place all of the ingredients into the work bowl, and process to make a smooth, sticky dough.

3) If you don't have a food processor, grind the oats in a blender before using. If you don't have a blender or food processor, use quick oats, rather than traditional. Combine the oats with the remaining ingredients, and mix until smooth.

4) Press the dough into the prepared pan, and score it into 16 wedges. A knife or baker's bench knife, dipped in water between cuts, is the tool to use here.

5) Bake the shortbread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it's firm and golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a piece of parchment, or a clean work surface. Cut all the way through the score marks to make wedges. Place them on a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 16 shortbread wedges.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 02/15/2015
  • Judy from Indiana
  • This is excellent. It's easy to make and I love the flavor. The pieces are thicker and a bit denser in texture than the KAF guaranteed shortbread. When I take these cookies to any adult gathering, there are none left to take home. However, younger kids don't always like the low sugar ones. Years ago I had a neighbor who was from Scotland and she made the best Shortbread. This recipe has similar proportions to the one she gave me, except she only used wheat flour, no oats. Like this one, she didn't use vanilla or any other flavorings. I switched from her recipe to using the oat flour mix and I use 1/3 white whole wheat instead of all AP. I use salted butter instead of adding in the salt, and make sure I use good quality butter. Her recipe called for 60 grams of sugar; I usually go with 70. She always said you should just mix the ingredients with your hands. I usually start with a hand mixer and then finish up using my hands. I estimated that an eighth of this recipe would make each wedge about 350 calories. To make the portions a bit smaller, I use a 7 x 11 pan and divide the batter into 15 cookies. I also have silicon molds that makes 24 round, scalloped-edge pieces or 24 Christmas trees. I use 18-20 grams in each space and have enough dough left to make another 7. The cookies pop right out, look attractive and are a little over 100 calories each. If you have any left over, they freeze well.
  • star rating 12/21/2014
  • PJ. from Henderson, NV
  • Forget the food processor after you grind the oatmeal (if using traditional or old fashioned oats). Then use a good powered hand mixer, or elbow grease and what a super cookie! Much less fragile than has been mentioned when done this way - a five plus star recipe and so adaptable to variations. Our family of bakers are impressed, thank you King Arthur Flour.
  • star rating 03/24/2014
  • spud14901 from KAF Community
  • One additional item to my previous review. I did toast the oats @ 350 F for 6 minutes.
  • star rating 03/24/2014
  • spud14901 from KAF Community
  • I have gotten some really great recipes off the King Arthur site but this one is one of the easiest and delicious yet. The aroma of the butter while the shortbread is baking is awesome. I am surprised there are only four other reviewers. I gave several of my family members (adults) and several of my neighbors a taste of this and they are all asking for more. I made my third one today so I could have more then 1/16th of a piece!
  • star rating 12/16/2013
  • Nicki from Greendale, Wisconsin
  • This is the best shortbread recipe I have tried. Their buttery goodness melts in your mouth. The oats add just the right nuttiness. It reminds me of shortbread we had at tea in Scotland; simply delicious.
  • star rating 05/13/2013
  • Jen from Severna Park, MD
  • Super easy to make, bakes up beautifully, and tastes delicious! I first made these for my son's kindergarten class when they were learning about the UK and having "tea" as part of their lesson. Since then my son requests them often and they are my "go to" shortbread recipe. The oats make them even more delicious!
  • star rating 08/20/2012
  • Logan'sMiMi from KAF Community
  • I suppose I should begin by saying, I love butter in baking, and I love oatmeal, and if I had to narrow my favorite cookie down to one, it would have to be shortbread, did I say I love butter? My cardiologist doesn't, but we're not asking (or telling) him about this recipe. I made this recipe over the weekend, used my food processor as instructed and reduced the confectioners sugar as suggested for true Scottish shortbread. Did I tell you that I love shortbread cookies? Well, I have a new love, Scottish Shortbread with oatmeal! I love the texture (ever so fragile and crumbly) and the slightly nutty taste from the oatmeal and the luxurious butter flavor. Such a simple decadent treat, and you'd be so proud, I even shared.
  • star rating 08/14/2012
  • suzritt from KAF Community
  • Another great recipe from KAF. I recently made both the Shortbread and this Classic Scottish Shortbread. The Scottish Shortbread is a bit grainier and has a faint taste of oats. My husband said that he like the "plain" shortbread a little better but made it clear that there was nothing wrong with the Scottish version as he was eating his third and fourth piece. These pieces are higher but narrower (16 per pan Vs 8 per pan) than the other recipe and they both seemed equally fragile. (The broken pieces and crumbs taste just as good as the whole pieces.) I think the regular shortbread would be easier to flavor, while the Scottish already has flavor (oats) even though it is subtle. I used this as the bottom layer for strawberry shortcake and it was a wonderful complement to the fruit.
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