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National Shortbread Day on January 6th recognizes a classic Scottish treat enjoyed around the world. 

Shortbread is a traditional Scottish dessert typically 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 adding salt. Bakers commonly use plain white (wheat) flour to make shortbread. However, some bakers use ground rice or cornflour to alter the texture.

Shortbread earns its name because of its crumbly texture. Its high-fat content provided by the butter results in a shortbread crumb. “Shortening” refers to any fat that may be added to produce a “short” (crumbly) texture.

Prepared often during the 12th century, Mary, Queen of Scots receives credit for the innovation of the shortbread during 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), they traditionally break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride upon the entrance of her new home.

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HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalShortbreadDay

Shortbread cookies and bars call for sharing. Invite a friend over for tea and enjoy these delicately flavored treats while catching up. Share them with co-workers or invite nieces and nephews to help you bake up a new recipe. Be sure to share your celebration, too!  Use #NationalShortbreadDay to post on social media.


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