Better than Best Scottish Shortbread

Never believe you have the best recipe. I thought my earlier blogpost recipe on lemon and rosemary shortbread was very good. It made great use of Hammock ingredients to one-up your basic butter, flour and sugar recipe for the same and it was fairly simple to prepare as well as tasty. The best? That is always a matter of opinion.

I get daily email reminders of National Days in the United States. It started as a fun way to keep in touch with past clients if it was appropriate. It so happens that January 6th of 2020 was National Shortbread Day. I had a lot on my plate that day (pun intended) and didn’t have the time to pull out another oldie but goodie recipe in my collection. In fact, this entire week wasn’t looking good with more than the average number of work and social commitments. I decided I could mix them up this morning, and bake them this afternoon after Floor Duty at my Real Estate office, touring a new in-house listing and before meeting friends for dinner before the ballet.

Weeell, my day didn’t quite work out like that. Dressed and ready to go, I reached down for the plastic wrap for the shortbread dough and I couldn’t get up. I should’ve known not to move our dining table by myself yesterday, but it was only about a 10-inch push. Drat! All work and social commitments canceled and two hours of on-and-off icing down of my painful back and I felt ready to stand up for a few minutes and cut out my shortbread.

Last week, on a stroll around our Hammock neighborhood, we spotted the Meyer Lemon tree on the still undeveloped vacant lot a couple of blocks away. I took a few and left many for the possible owner or other amblers. Still, those babies are big and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with all of them.

It turns out that our potted Rosemary bush also needed a prune. Top that with a unique gift from one of my sisters along with the inspiration of this week’s National Shortbread Day and I was ready to bake, photograph and serve.

I give you the following recipe that came from my British husband’s British Columbian Aunt Gertrude. Why is it better than best? One entire pound of butter is probably the answer! You need to be aware that this recipe makes a lot of shortbread cookies. The 3-foot serving platter holds less than half the recipe.

Rosemary and Lemon Zest Optional

Aunt Gertrude’s Scottish Shortbread


1 pound butter, I use unsalted.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind (Meyer or other optional)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)


Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the all-purpose and the rice flour, grated lemon zest and rosemary if using and knead by hand or on the slow speed of a large mixer. At this point, I divide the dough in half as it is easier to roll out. You may also freeze half to bake at a later date. Roll out to about 1/8 inch and cut into shapes. Decorate with holes from the tines of a fork. Place on baking sheets lined with silicone mats or parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.

Move over Walkers Shortbread. These are a contender!

One Response

  1. Great use of French wooden baguette server, Ann.
    Love the pix!
    The sister, who gave wooden server 2 U.
    Guess which one!!!!!!

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