Scottish Shortbread

Learn how to make Scottish Shortbread!



200gm butter (soft but still cold)

¾ cup powdered/icing/confectioner’s sugar

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 mixing bowl

1 spatula/wooden ladle

1 oven-proof plate/baking tray

1 fork



In a mixing bowl, whip your butter mercilessly using a spatula or ladle.  Once the block has been smoothly spread over the base, add the vanilla and sugar.  Mix together swiftly.  This creaming process results in a white, fluffy mixture.  Next, add the flour and salt and fully incorporate them until the pastry comes together in a nice ball.

Take care to not dilly dally as butter succumbs to the Doha heat.   From start to finish, the mixing process takes no more than 10 minutes.


Press the ball into a plate or casserole dish.  Alternatively, flatten into a crude circle on a baking tray.  Using a fork, prick holes all over your shortbread, ensuring the tines touch the base.  It’s this aeration process that makes shortbread crumbly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 35-45 minutes, depending on how golden you like your biscuit.  Remove from oven and immediately slice the shortbread into wedges of any size.  This step is crucial because the pastry becomes more difficult to handle as it cools down.  Now resist yourself until the biscuit is completely cooled.


*Any comments, feedback, tips, Grandma’s not-so-secret recipes gladly welcome.  Do share how the shortbread challenge turned out.  I’m on Twitter @GeraldoTan

**A version of this article appeared in the magazine Qatar Happening**