she who keeps this diary

19 December 2003 - 12:01 PM

Homemade Shortbread and Freedom

The bell has rung. Watch Nora pop the Vince Guaraldi CD into the 'puter, undo the schoolmarm bun on the back of her head, and dance the wild Snoopy dance of a woman who is free of teenagers for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!

Proper Shortbread, Not in a Tartan Box

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar slowly, beating well to incorporate. Add the salt and vanilla and mix well. Beat in the flour a little bit at a time until the dough is blended but crumbly. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 250 F. With your fingertips, press each dough disk into an 8-inch cake or pie pan. Prick each round into 12 wedges with a fork. Bake shortbread for 30 minutes, then rotate pans and bake another 30 minutes, until the shortbread is cooked through and is pale gold.

Cool the shortbread in pans on rack for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges (along the prickings) with a sharp knife. Cool completely, then transfer the wedges to a plate with a thin spatula.

Other traditional (and not-so traditional) Scottish recipes can be found at

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