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Scotch Shortbread

Scotch Shortbread

Scotch Shortbread

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Scotch Shortbread
5.0 rating based on 12,345 ratings
5/5 (8)
Course: BarsDifficulty: Easy



An easy and buttery shortbread recipe. Please see note about the use of the word “Scotch”*.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 1 pound butter, softened

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for garnish


  • Pre-heat oven to 275 F. Measure sugar into bowl & sprinkle with water. Cream butter into sugar with a wooden spoon. Add flour and salt and knead dough with your hands until dough pulls away from side of bowl as well as your hands. Press dough into a ungreased 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan. Spread it flat right into the corners. Prick with fork about at 1 inch intervals. Sprinkle all with the additional 1/4 cup sugar. Bake for one hour or until pale golden. Cut while hot into diamonds or 1×3″ rectangle shapes. A pizza cutter works the best. Let cool.


  • Kindly contributed by Beth.
  • *Note: these are incorrectly called Scotch Shortbread, and should instead be called Scottish Shortbread. But they have been on this site so long under that name, that once we knew better we already had people saying that they’ve used this recipe for 10 years (this site has been online since 1995 and this recipe probably almost that long). We didn’t suddenly want people googling their favorite “scotch shortbread” to no longer be able to find it, and offer our apologies to any Scottish people who are offended by our use of the word “Scotch”. We also have a proper Scottish Shortbread recipe on this site, which is nearly identical.


Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

I have made this recipe for years, and everyone just loves it. I've had multiple people over time request the recipe. The buttery, melt in your mouth quality of these cookies never fails to please.
- Edda in OH

Amazing and always a Christmas favorite, been making for years
- Jennifer

I've been making this recipe for a good 10 years now and they are the best. I found the recipe on this site.
- Sylvain

this recipe worked amazing for me..never made shortbread. will be a new recipe for every year.
- Lisa Mc

I make now every time I have a cookie exchange and everyone LOVES including myself!
- A Baker

Very easy recipe that's worth it
- A Baker

I substitute butter for coconut oil. turned out amazing.I stopped using butter in all my baking and i have not been disapointed so far.
- Janet

I want to thank Beth for sharing this recipe. It has been a huge success every holiday season. I get requests for it every year. Thank You.
- Gen
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