Shetland Shortbread

by Elizabeth Atia -

Over the festive period one of our Canadian readers requested that I share a traditional Shetland shortbread biscuit recipe. After much searching by many people in the Taste of Shetland headquarters (everyone has their own version!) we came up with this recipe as being the most popular.

In this recipe, cornflour (aka cornstarch) is used to lighten the mixture, and the resulting buttery, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits go down very well with an afternoon cup of tea, especially during the relentless gales we've been experiencing lately!

Do you have any traditional Shetland recipes I should try, photograph and share with A Taste of Shetland readers? If you have any suggestions for future A Taste of Shetland posts do let me know! You can either leave a message in the comments section below, use the contact us form on this website or contact me via my own food blog over at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

Shetland Shortbread

Course: Main

Servings: 24 biscuits

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • Shetland butter - 8 oz
  • Plain flour - 8 oz
  • White self-raising flour - 2 oz
  • Caster sugar - 3 oz (plus extra to sprinkle)
  • Cornflour - 3 oz (cornstarch)
  1. Preheat oven to 160 C*/ 350 F.
  2. Melt butter.
  3. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients, combine thoroughly. Knead well and press into an 8" x 8" square baking tin to a depth of 1/2 inch.
  5. Prick all over the top with a fork and sprinkle with extra caster sugar.
  6. Bake at 350F/160C/Gas Mark 4 on bottom shelf of oven until a pale beige colour.
  7. Cut into 1" by 2-3" strips while still warm. Leave to cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

*The recipe I was given suggested the temperature of 160 C/ 350 F, and I baked these biscuits at 160 C in my brand new oven (Boxing Day sales on the Lerwick high street!). However, they required an additional ten minutes to cook, so I suspect the temperature should be 180 C (which is equivalent to 350 F).

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