Matt and I were able to visit my grandmother a week before she passed, and we had a fun hour talking with her about old times, new times, and our favorite shared interests. One thing we discussed was her famous Scotch Shortbread cookies. I was dying to know where the recipe came from, and she told me the recipe was from Mamma Mag. Mamma Mag was her father’s mother (my great-great-grandmother). I’ve been told she was Scotch Irish, so I figured the recipe was from her. One thing to note that my grandmother emphasized on our visit last week was that it’s SCOTCH Shortbread, not Scottish Shortbread. I’m not sure if there is a difference, but it does taste a little different than what you normally buy in the store.
Matt and I made a half batch last night (I had a ton of unsalted butter in the fridge, but found only one stick of salted), and we experimented a little with the recipe. Grandma always sifted the flour before measuring, but our family can be a tad lazier in that regard. I found that 1-1/4 cup of sifted flour weighs the same as 1 cup of unsifted flour. So if you don’t feel like sifting your flour before measuring, decrease the flour to just 2 cups. You want to work the dough as little as possible to keep it tender as the water and the flour will form gluten if you mix it or roll it too much. Avoid rolling the dough out more than twice or the cookies will be tough.
The most important part is to enjoy these with friends and family!