Its almost Christmas and that means it is time for traditional Scottish shortbread. I have lost count of the number of times I have made this recipe and the number of years. In the summer I use the biscuits as a great base for cheesecakes in the winter they make great christmas goodie bags for friends. The secret to great tasting shortbread is butter. Shortbread is not a bread at all but is a very buttery biscuit. “Short” in cookery terms is used to describe a crumbly texture. To ensure you get this texture you have to mix the dough gently so that you don’t get a tough biscuit. Don’t miss out the chilling stage as this stops the biscuits from spreading too much and ensures that all of the butter stays in the biscuit!

If you have some diabetic or friends cutting back on sugar you can also try my lemon and chia seed shortbread.  If you haven’t got any christmas cutters you can use a small glass and make round shortbread instead. The classic version is definitely not low calorie but really delivers on flavour, hope you get a chance to try these.

Shortbread doesn’t just have to be for Christmas. It can also be used to make a simple cheesecake. Simply spread biscuits with some cream cheese and top with your favourite summer berries. The ones shown below were great tasting energy food for a cycle trip.

Blueberry Shortbread Cheesecake


For a more nutty flavour you can make Hazelnut shortbread by replacing the semolina/ Greiss with ground hazelnuts I also added a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  All of the other ingredients remain the same. This variation got a big thumbs up from the Duesseldorf expat cyclists.

Hazelnut shortbread

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