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National Shortbread Day

National Shortbread Day 2018

National Shortbread Day, National Food Holiday, Food & Travel Blog, National Food History, Shortbread History, Roadtrips R Us

National Shortbread Day

Today is National Shortbread Day. This food holiday is celebrated annually on January 6th.

What is Shortbread?

Shortbread is a Scottish biscuit traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour. Traditional shortbread has four ingredients at most: sugar, butter, flour and sometimes vanilla. Modern recipes often deviate from the original by splitting the sugar into equal parts granulated and icing sugar and adding salt.

Shortbread vs Shortcake

Shortbread is different from shortcake, though they are similar: shortcake can be made using vegetable fat instead of butter and usually has a leavening agent such as baking powder, which gives it a different texture. Shortbread biscuits are often associated with normal egg-based biscuits.

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Shortbread History

The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.

Thought Clothing

Although the origin has been debated, it continued to make a good story. Legend has it that Mary, Queen of Scots refined shortbread in the 16th century. This type of shortbread was baked, cut into triangular wedges, and flavored with caraway seeds.

The first printed recipe for shortbread was in 1736 from a Scotswoman named Mrs. McLintock.

Shortbread Facts

Shortbread is baked at a low temperature to avoid browning.

When cooked, it is nearly white, or a light golden brown.

It may be sprinkled with more sugar while cooling. It may even be crumbly before cooled but will become firmer after cooling.

Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle, which is divided into segments as soon as it is taken out of the oven (petticoat tails, which may have been named from the French petits cotés, a pointed biscuit eaten with wine, or petites gastelles, the old French for little cakes; individual round biscuits (shortbread rounds); or a thick (¾” or 2 cm) oblong slab cut into fingers.

The stiff dough retains its shape during cooking.

The biscuits are often patterned, usually with the tines of a fork before cooking or with a springerle-type cookie mold (U.S.)/biscuit mould (U.K.).

Shortbread is sometimes shaped in hearts and other shapes for special occasions.

Scottish chef John Quigley, of Glasgow’s Red Onion, describes shortbread as “the jewel in the crown” of Scottish baking.

An early variety of shortbread, using ginger, was associated with the Scottish Parliament in the 19th Century, and was sometimes called “Parliament cake” or “Parlies”.

The shortbread was expensive and reserved as a luxury for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve), and weddings.

In Shetland (northeast of mainland Britain), it is traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the entrance of her new house.

Shortbread is widely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay festivities in Scotland, and the Scottish brand Walkers Shortbread is exported around the world. As a Scottish product, shortbread is sometimes packaged in a tartan design, such as Royal Stewart tartan. Walkers Shortbread Assorted Shortbread Cookies, 35.3 Ounce

Winter Mysteries

There’s nothing better than finding a cozy spot to read while enjoying the winter season. Here’s our Number 1 suggestion – The Long Road Home by Carolyn Bowen

The Long Road Home: Romantic Murder Mystery

 

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