Tasty Tuesday: My Grandmother’s Shortbreads

18 Dec

I’ve decided not to do any baking this year, since I have no willpower when it comes to sweets, and if there are goodies laying about the house I’ll only gobble them up. So I’m leaving this duty to the younger members of my family. When I visit over the holidays I’ll gobble up their goodies, and then leave. Problem solved.

shortbreadsBut for those who like to bake, I’m featuring my grandmother’s shortbread recipe. This very old recipe hails from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where my mother and grandmother were born. I grew up enjoying these cookies every Christmas. My grandmother would make them ahead of time and freeze them in large Tupperware containers. I would sneak down to the basement and eat them frozen straight from the freezer – delicious!

But they ARE supposed to be eaten at room temperature. She also iced and garnished them with red and green cherries, to make them look extra festive. Double the recipe for a larger crowd.



1 cup butter (do NOT use margarine or you’ll be paid a visit by the Shortbread Police)

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 ½ cups flour

2 tbsp cornstarch


Cream butter until very soft. Gradually add sugar. Add sifted flour and cornstarch gradually. Turn onto floured surface and roll to ½” thickness – not too thin. Dough will be crumbly at first, but the more you work with it the easier it’ll get. Shape using a round cookie cutter. Bake in 325 oven for approximately 25 minutes. Do not over bake. Bottoms will be light brown, tops will be lighter.

Frost with butter icing (recipe below) and top with sliced red and green cherries.

Butter Icing


1/3 cup butter

4 cups icing sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 to 3 tbsp milk

1 tsp almond extract


Cream butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Thin with more milk, or thicken by adding more icing sugar. Note: this recipe makes enough icing to frost a 13 x 9” cake or a double layer cake. Used for shortbreads, you will have a lot left over.

Please drop by my fellow Tasty Tuesday authors who are changing the world one word and recipe at a time:

Mulled Wine by PG Forte

Pouding Chomeur by Selena Robins

 A Good Cuppa by A. Catherine Noon

14 Responses to “Tasty Tuesday: My Grandmother’s Shortbreads”

  1. Selena Robins Musings December 18, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    LOL eating them right from the freezer? Sounds EXACTLY what Mr. Rugged does when I freeze cookies. This recipe is similar to my mum-in-law’s recipe. Enjoy your daughters baking, those calories don’t count if they’re not in your house. 🙂

  2. Darla M Sands December 18, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  3. 4amWriter December 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    I love love love shortbread. My mom always buys the Walkers shortbread (Scottish) for me every Christmas. I have never tried to make it. Maybe I will now…

    • nancyelauzon December 19, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      I’m not much of a baker, but these are pretty easy to make 😉

  4. PG Forte December 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    oh, I LOVE shortbread!

    • nancyelauzon December 19, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      It’s funny, I love them too, but I’m only in the mood for them at Christmas time!

  5. trjensen December 19, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    I presented you with an award my friend. http://narcissistsblog.com/2012/12/18/blog-of-the-year-award-2012/

  6. kathleenkaskawrites December 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    I love shortbread and this recipe looks wonderful. Did you ever try eating the cookie dough?

    • nancyelauzon December 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

      I’m not a fan of cookie dough, I always preferred it baked … although I have been known to lick the spoon!


  1. I bet you can’t have just one spoonful. « Selena Robins Musings - December 18, 2012

    […] My Grandmother’s Shortbread by Nancy Lauzon […]

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