Shortbread - The Delicious Snack (Not Just) from Scotland

Shortbread - The Classic from Scotland

What to expect in our article about Shortbread:

  • What is Shortbread and why is it so irresistible?
  • Scottish or Irish Shortbread - what are the differences?
  • Millionaires Shortbread - more than just a chocolate bar
  • Is Shortbread available in gluten-free or vegan options?

Whether it's classic Scottish Shortbread, Irish Shortbread, or even extravagant Millionaires Shortbread, authentic Shortbread is a delight for British taste buds, enjoyed by fans far beyond the coasts of Great Britain and the boundaries of the former Empire. But what is it that makes this rather simple snack so mouthwatering and causes a new package of Shortbread cookies to mysteriously vanish as if by magic?

What is Shortbread and why is it so irresistible?

Scottish Shortbread is the quintessential British biscuit. It's not just the Scots who can't do without this delicacy made from shortcrust pastry for breakfast or afternoon tea. The key to the uniquely crumbly texture of this English classic lies in the butter and baking powder that make the biscuit so tender it practically melts in your mouth. For the typical Scottish flavor, butter is mixed with flour and sugar in a ratio of 2:3:1, along with some baking powder and a pinch of salt - no more ingredients are needed. The classics are Shortbread fingers, but thin slices (usually held together by a thin layer of creamy filling) or Shortbread cookies (round or heart-shaped, for example) are also part of this delicacy's versatile appearance. If you want to explore the variety and unique taste of authentic British Shortbread, browse our selection of flavors from Dean's Shortbread. Whether classic sweet or with hints of lemon or coffee, food enthusiasts and sweet tooths are guaranteed to find something they love.

If you'd like to try an English version with a hint of fresh ginger that combines the taste and crumbly texture of classic Scottish Shortbread, check out the Grantham Gingerbread Cookies by Hawkens Gingerbread. Hawkens bakes these delights according to England's oldest biscuit recipe, impressing us with their unique combination of delicious flavors.

Scottish or Irish Shortbread - what are the differences?

While Scottish Shortbread may be the most well-known version of classic British Shortbread cookies, those who have developed a taste for it shouldn't miss trying the Irish version. As mentioned earlier, perhaps the most important ingredient in classic crumbly Scottish Shortbread is butter, and Irish butter is in a league of its own. However, not only in terms of taste does Irish Shortbread hold some surprises. Compared to British Shortbread, the Irish use significantly less baking powder in their Shortbread fingers, resulting in a noticeably crunchier texture than the crumbly Scottish Shortbread.

If you want to taste this typical Irish delicacy for yourself, your best bet is to choose from our selection of Shortbread cookies from the Lismore Cookie Company, such as All Butter Irish Shortbread. In addition to the classic version with the typical taste of Irish butter, the baking experts at Lismore like to enhance their Shortbread cookies with local ingredients from the Irish coast for flavor masterpieces like Irish Digestive With Wild Atlantic Sea Salt or Caraway With Irish Seaweed.

Millionaires Shortbread – more than just a chocolate bar

Are you a fan of the unique flavor combination of shortcrust pastry, creamy caramel, and aromatic chocolate? Then you must absolutely try Millionaires Shortbread. Similar to some chocolate bars, fresh Shortbread for this treat is first coated with a thick layer of sweet caramel (similar to the sweet Dessert Sauces from Joe & Seph's on toffee or caramel base) before being topped with another layer of flavorful chocolate, such as the delicious creations from Guittard Chocolate Company. The pastry is then chilled to form clearly defined layers, and it's served at room temperature or slightly chilled from the refrigerator for that extra bite with tea and coffee (or just as a quick snack). Unlike similar products from the supermarket's chocolate bar aisle, classic Millionaires Shortbread fingers are not shy when it comes to toppings, and the sweet extras can easily match the thickness of the Shortbread base, especially in homemade versions. An exquisite treat that doesn't necessarily break the bank.

Can Shortbread be gluten-free or vegan?

In addition to butter and baking powder, a key ingredient in the legendary Scottish Shortbread and Irish Shortbread is traditional wheat flour. But we have good news for all our health-conscious readers: the classic taste of Scottish Shortbread can also be made entirely gluten-free. If you want to try the relatively simple recipe for classic Shortbread fingers yourself, you only need 5 ingredients: wheat flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt. For the gluten-free version, simply replace the traditional wheat flour with rice or potato flour.

And even vegans don't have to miss out on the taste of classic Shortbread. While butter is an essential part of the traditional flavor of Shortbread cookies, especially in Irish Shortbread, there are alternatives for modern variations. Instead of butter, opt for vegan margarine. We recommend adding some fresh accents like lemon to compensate for the depth of flavor, creating an experience that rivals the classic.

If your mouth is watering right now, why not try your hand at this classic of English cuisine or take advantage of our wide range of perfectly baked Shortbread cookies, from classic Scottish Shortbread by Dean's Shortbread to unique variations of Irish Shortbread by Lismore Food Company.