This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: My Homemade Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipe yields slightly sweet, rich, and crumbly cookies, better than store-bought Walker’s cookies! The oats in this recipe give the cookies a rustic and crumbly texture, perfect for dipping in your favorite hot beverages or eating on their own!
Now that it’s finally December, many of you are probably spending some time with friends and family. Why not use that time for some fun-filled activities together? There’s nothing better than a bit of baking to bring out that holiday cheer!
If you do, you should definitely try out my delicious Homemade Walker’s Scottish Shortbread Cookies. They’re absolutely irresistible and very simple to make with just 5 common baking ingredients!
Set aside 45 minutes, and you’ll have a batch of buttery Scottish Shortbread Cookies in no time. It’s a crowd favorite at any holiday party and plenty delicious as an individual snack. Try it out!
Table Of Contents
- What Are Scottish Shortbread Cookies?
- Tools You Need To Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Ingredients You Need To Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- How To Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Why Add Oats To Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Can I Make Scottish Shortbread Cookies Ahead Of Time?
- How To Store Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Variations Of Shortbread Cookies With Ingredient Substitutions
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- Related Recipes
Traditional Scottish Shortbread Cookies, also known as shorties, gained much of their popularity thanks to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 16th century. The Scottish company, Walker’s, started making and selling Scottish Shortbread back in the late 1800s and have become a household name for this type of cookie. Scottish Shortbread Cookies are a type of biscuit that doesn’t contain any leavening like baking soda or powder. Shortbread gets its name from its crumbly texture — “short” was another word for “crumbly” back in the day. Shortbread and shortcake are synonymous in British English but very different in American English. There are “cookies” in the name, but don’t get confused! It’s another name for biscuits, in this case.
In Scotland, shortbread is associated with and typically made during the holidays. They are usually formed into one large circle divided into different pieces, small round biscuits, or thick rectangular slabs called fingers.
In my Scottish Shortbread recipe, we will be forming the latter shape. Because of its oblong shape, this flaky buttery shortbread is perfect for dipping into warm drinks like coffee or tea. It’ll melt right in your mouth, all the while making you warm and cozy!
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Food processor
- Wooden skewer
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour typically has a protein content of 8-11%, making it perfect for these shortbread cookies so that they aren’t too chewy or elastic.
- Old-fashioned rolled oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats give these cookies a great texture and look.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar, or white sugar, will add a slight sweetness to your cookies and a bit of moisture.
- Salt: A little goes a long way, but don’t skip out! It helps bring out all the flavors of the shortbread.
- Butter: Butter adds flavor, softness, and moisture to baked goods. Make sure to soften before using.
Scottish Shortbread Cookies use very simple ingredients and have even simpler steps:
- Preheat your oven, and line your square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In your food processor, add all of your dry ingredients and process until finely ground. Then, add in your butter.
- Press your dough into the baking pan evenly.
- Score your dough, and poke holes all over with a wooden skewer.
- Bake in the oven until pale golden brown.
- Remove cookies from the oven, and let cool before cutting scored marks all the way through.
In traditional Scottish Shortbread Cookies recipes, you don’t include old-fashioned rolled oats. However, adding oats to your dough elevates your shortbread cookies to another level!
When you grind your rolled oats, it acts as flour while also adding a great nutty flavor. Oat flour also reduces gluten development, giving it a crumbly and tender texture that you typically wouldn’t get in a flour-only recipe.
Read my Baking With Oats article for more information about cooking with oats, their health benefits, and different types of oats!
Yes! You can freeze your dough if you don’t want to bake it off immediately. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and place it into a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you want to bake it, simply thaw it for a minute or two.
The great thing about Scottish Shortbread is that it tastes good even after you’ve kept it for a couple of days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you want to keep them for longer, freeze them for up to 3 months.
Why are my shortbread cookies falling apart?
Although these cookies will naturally be a bit crumbly, they should not fall apart. Make sure to use butter and not another 100% fat source like oil or else your cookies will lack gluten and be too crumbly.
Why are my shortbread cookies so hard?
Be sure not to overwork your shortbread dough in the food processor. Keep processing until they are just combined otherwise, they will turn out tough.
What do I do if I don’t have a food processor?
If you don’t have a food processor, you can alternatively use a blender or mixer.
- Be sure to fully process the oats, so they are flour-like in texture for the best results.
- These are very lightly sweetened. If you prefer a sweeter cookie, you can add 2 more tablespoons of sugar to the dough or sprinkle it on top of the cookies before you bake them.
- The list of ingredients is very short, so the quality matters. Use the very best butter you can find for this recipe.
- Vanilla bean paste is a nice addition – you can add up to 2 teaspoons along with the butter.
- Be sure to score the shortbread before baking and cut the cookies completely while still warm, or you will have a tray full of crumbs.
- 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
- Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Perfected Millionaire’s Shortbread (Caramel Squares)
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread
- Delicate & Sweet Matcha Shortbread Cookies
- Matcha Shortbread Cookies
- Rose & Cardamom Shortbread Cookies
And don’t miss more everyday baking recipes in my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook!
Watch The Recipe Video!
Homemade Walker's Scottish Shortbread Cookies Recipe
- 1½ cups (7½ oz/213 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (3 oz/85 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 oz/225 g) butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang on two sides. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, oats, granulated sugar, and salt and process for about 15 seconds until the oats are finely ground.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture just comes together.
- Transfer to the prepared baking pan and press the dough into an even layer.
- Score the dough into 16 rectangles, and then, with a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the cookies.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until pale golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes, then carefully use the parchment paper to gently lift the shortbread out of the pan. Cut the score marks all the way through, then let cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months.