Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nothing Says Christmas Like Shortbread

Jean C. Gordon here getting and staying in the holiday spirit working on a new book that combines two of my favorite romance elements love rekindled and Christmas. It's the first of my new series, The Donnelly Brothers, "Hometown boys make good…and find love." My working title is The Pastor's Christmas Star, and it won't be out until next Christmas.

So for this Christmas, I’m sharing a recipe for a Gordon family holiday treat, shortbread. It’s from my husband’s grandmother (and great-grandmother?), dating back to before 1900. His Aunt Jean added some helpful instructions.


1 lb softened butter (the salted regular butter)
1 cup white sugar
Approx. 4 cups all-purpose (plain) white flour (Be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup because you might have to add a few more spoonfuls while you are mixing the batter to be the right consistency,)

Mix the softened butter and sugar together with a spoon and then add the flour one cup at a time and mix the batter with your hands until it feels ready to spread on a cookie sheet. Press the batter on the cookie with your hands until it spreads out evenly and smoothly. (It is not necessary to use a rolling pin unless you so desire.

Then mark the size pieces (leave the pieces on the cookie sheet!) you want with a table knofe and prick each piece a couple of times with a table fork (this lets air circulate through each piece while the shortbread is baking). Depending on how you mark the pieces, you can have 48 or more pieces on a cookie sheet.

BAKE FOR TWO HOURS (2 HOURS) IN A SLOW OVEN (225 TO 235 DEGREES DEPENDING ON YOUR OVEN). Once the shortbread looks a nice golden brown and smells heavenly, remove from the oven and let the shortbread cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. Then use a table knife to cut each piece on the already marked lines but let the shortbread finish cooling on the cookie sheet.

Once the shortbread is cooled, then you can put the cookie pieces in a zip-lock bag (obviously Aunt Jean added this J), a tight container, or even in the freezer. These shortbread cookies keep for a long time if sealed well and even longer if frozen. They are delicious with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy this Scottish treat for the holidays or any time. Cheers!

So, what are your favorite holiday — any holiday — foods?

And to close, here's a plug for my newsletter launch: I'll be launching my author newsletter soon with a cover reveal of my next Love Inspired Romance see it before Facebook. Sign up for the newsletter on my website, by December 28 and receive a free excerpt from SMALL-TOWN MIDWIFE and a free e-copy of my sweet romance BACHELOR FATHER in the format of your choice.


  1. I never knew how shortbread was made. These cookies sound delicious, Jean. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I wish I could bake - SIGH, I burn everything. If you have an extra cookie or two, I have room on my plate!!

    Merry Christmas Jean. Mega sales to you for your Love Inspired books

  3. Hi Jean--
    How nice to have a family recipe from back to the 1900's! The shortbread recipe sounds simple enough for even me to try out :-) Thanks for sharing.

  4. They are really good and easy to make, although Kathye it is possible to get absorbed in something -- like writing -- and let the burn. :)