Its Burns Night here in Scotland, on the 25th of January we have Burns Suppers to celebrate the life of the famous Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns. Haggis is always served at Burns Suppers and although I am not going to share a Haggis recipe with you, I thought you might like my recipe for our famous biscuit Scottish Shortbread. Shortbread is often served at the end of a celebration meal with tea or coffee so I am sure this will feature on the menu of many Burns Suppers.
Shortbread is generally associated with and originated in Scotland. It was expensive and generally reserved for special occasions such as Hogmanay, Burns Suppers and Weddings. An old tradition in Shetland involves breaking a decorated shortbread cake over a new bride’s head at the entrance to her new home.
250g (9 ozs) Plain Flour
75g (3 ozs) Caster Sugar
175g (6 ozs) Butter (softened at room temp)
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 these are called Petticoat Tails, Shortbread Rounds individual round biscuit shapes and Shortbread Fingers a large rectangular shape which is then cut into thick slices.
I made Petticoat Tails using the following method
Pre heat oven to 160c (325F)
Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl rub in the butter using your hands
Keep mixing and knead well until all the ingredients have formed together in a ball shape
If you can not get it to form the ball shape easily add a little bit of water to the mix
Sprinkle some flour on your worktop, divide into two equal parts shape and flatten into 2 x 18cm (7inch) rounds, about 1cm (1/2 inch) thick
Place rounds on a baking tray well spaced apart or use 2 round cake pans like I did, mark the top into portions, decorate edges and prick with a fork
Bake for 25-30 mins until pale and golden
Remove from oven, sprinkle a little caster sugar on top
Transfer the pans to a cooling rack, when cool cut in portions, remove from pan and serve
No food post on Burns Night would be complete without Robert Burn’s famous blessing
The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.
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