Scottish Shortbread

My family usually celebrates our Norwegian heritage during the holidays through baking various goodies such as lefse (potato tortilla served with butter and sugar), krumkake (Norwegian version of a cannoli), and aebleskievers (pancake balls sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with jam).

My husband’s heritage is rich in Scottish and Irish roots. So to honor and celebrate his ancestors, I like to make Scottish Shortbread. There are many recipes available for shortbread, but each recipe’s main ingredients are butter, sugar, and flour. Shortbread is a crisp cookie with a sweet buttery flavor. With this recipe, I like to add a little something special not normally found in shortbread recipes, maple extract. It pairs nicely with the brown sugar.

Scottish Shortbread

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Servings 60 cookies
Calories 99 kcal


  • rolling pin


  • 2 cups butter unsalted and room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling the dough out


  • In an electric mixer, cream the butter on high until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the brown sugar and the maple extract and cream again on high for 1 minute. Scrape the sides and cream again for 30 seconds.
  • Add in the flour, one cup at a time, mixing on low and scraping the sides before adding in another cup. Continue until all 4 cups have been added. Sprinkle flour on counter-top and place the dough over the flour creating a mound. If the dough seems sticky, kneed another ½ cup of flour into the dough.
  • Roll out the dough until it is approximately ¼ inch thick. Then cut into 1-inch by 3 inch cookies with a sharp knife. If you have a cookie-cutter that works too.
  • Gently place on a non-stick baking sheet (or a parchment-lined baking sheet). Prick lightly with a fork down the center of the cookies. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly brown on the edges.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving or storing. If desired dip one end in melted chocolate and top with a favorite holiday garnish such as crunched candy canes or festive sprinkles.


Serving: 2cookiesCalories: 99kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 55mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 189IUCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cookies, dairy-free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You can totally use a cookie-cutter to make uniform rectangles, but I not only like the more rustic look of just cutting the dough with a knife; I also am super lazy and don’t add extra steps in baking/cooking if I don’t have to.

You can use whatever shaped cookie-cutter you’d like, just make sure that you lightly prick the uncooked dough with a fork before baking.

What are some of your holiday baking traditions? Do you have a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation? Hope y’all are having an amazing week. Stay safe, be kind, and hug your loved ones.

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