Originally published December 1, 2013.
The triumph of Scottish baking on the old national lines.
Shortbread is the primordial cookie. It has only three ingredients: sugar, butter, and flour. And I guess salt is a welcome addition. Sometimes there’s caraway. And there are a few variations like Ayrshire shortbread that include eggs and cream. But usually it’s just sugar, butter, and flour, combined in a very simple ratio: 1:2:3.
In other words, butter makes up fully one third of the weight of the dough, so this is indeed a very short dough, “short” referring to fat’s ability to inhibit gluten development, creating a tender, brittle pastry. Some classic recipes will even replace a portion of the wheat … Continue reading.