National Shortbread Day is observed each year on January 6th.
Shortbread is a classic Scottish dessert traditionally was made with:
- 1 part white sugar
- 2 parts butter
- 3 parts flour
Modern recipes deviate from the 3 ingredient rule by splitting the sugar portion into equal parts of granulated sugar and powdered sugar and add salt. Plain white (wheat) flour is commonly used. However, ground rice or cornflour are also sometimes added to alter the texture.
Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture which is caused by its high-fat content, provided by the butter. “Shortening” is its related word that refers to any fat that may be added to produce a “short” (crumbly) texture.
Prepared often during the 12th century, shortbread is credited to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. As it was expensive to make, the sweet cookie was reserved as a luxury for special occasions.
In Shetland (northeast of mainland Britain), it is tradition to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride upon her entrance of her new home.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Try one of the following recipes and enjoy National Shortbread Day!
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