We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Shortbread?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Shortbread is a type of crumbly, sweet cookie which is commonly produced in Scotland, a nation with which the dessert treat has become associated. These cookies are made all over the world, and often appear as a winter holiday treat in the United States. Dense, sweet, and highly rich, shortbread is adored by many consumers and bakers for its excellent and crisp flavor and ease of manufacture. It has been made since the 1700s, when butter as a cooking fat began to enter common use, especially in dairy-heavy areas like Scotland.

The name probably originates from the large amount of shortening used in the cookies. Traditionally, shortbread is made with three ingredients: butter, sugar, and flour. The cookies are generally made with one part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts white flour. Thanks to health conscious consumers in the 20th century, shortbread made from a mixture of whole wheat and white flour can be found, as well as organic and low fat versions.

After the shortbread dough is made, it can be cooked in a number of forms. Many home cooks simply make rounds, resulting in round cookies which look quite attractive arranged on platters during the holiday season. Many commercial companies make large rounds which are cut into segments as soon as they are done cooking, resulting in an easily packaged cookie. Sometimes, shortbread is also made in large rectangular molds which are cut into fingers.

Shortbread dough holds shapes very well, and as a result is often patterned or decorated with stamps, forks, or other implements. The resulting cookie has an attractive pattern on the upper surface, with some companies having very distinctive crests or designs for their products. Some shortbread is also dipped in chocolate for an additionally rich touch.

After cooking, shortbread is a pale golden, crumbly cookie. When eaten plain, it can be very messy, and it is often dipped in tea or coffee to soften before consumption. The cookies taste very buttery, because of the large amount used to make them. Because shortbread is so firm, it is easily packed and frequently given out in tins or wrapped in decorative papers, especially at Christmas time. In addition to Scotland, Denmark is another major producer of these cookies.

To make shortbread, bakers can follow the traditional recipe of one part sugar to two parts butter to three parts flour, and bake the cookies at a low temperature on an ungreased sheet until they are a pale golden color. Low to medium baking temperatures are important to prevent the cookies from burning. If baking in large rounds, the cooks should be sure to cut them immediately after they are removed from the oven, before they become too brittle.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon117277 — On Oct 09, 2010

Try using it in place of graham crackers for a pie crust.

By lindamay — On Dec 18, 2008

I made some shortbread cookies and they are so tender and crumbly they fall apart in your mouth. Your mouth feels like it is full of dry crumbs. Do I have to throw away all of the cookies or is there a recipe where I could use the baked shortbread crumbs?I have searched on the internet but can find nothing. Hope you can help!

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.