Annual Shortbread Contest
The St. Andrew’s 172nd Annual Highland Games’ Shortbread Contest was just fantastic this year! We had the so much fun and it was an honor of Judging so many fine entry samples. A very big Thank You to our Judges Panel which included: Sarah Ann Parsons-Hobbs, Russ & Beth Cunningham- Frahm, Karen El Wood, Kelly Hemmerling, and Christy Haradean-Shortbread Chair. And here are the sweet results:
In Third Place: Shirley Davidson
In Second Place: Peg Dunlop
First Place Trophy Winner: Lance Matthew Michael Kaspar
Here is Lance’s Winning Recipe:
1-1/2 lbs. unsalted Butter at room temperature
1 C. Confectioners Sugar
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
3 C. Pastry Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 Bag Dark Chocolate
Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt
- Cream Butter & Vanilla with paddle for 8 minutes.
- Add Sugar and Salt until combined.
- Scrape bowl and add Flour, while slowly beating.
- Shape and chill for one hour.
- Cut into fingers and bake 10 minutes at 350°, turning at halfway.
- Melt chocolate in bowl, dip, & sprinkle with Sea Salt.
The History of Shortbread
The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a
low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was
replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.
Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved for special
occasions such as weddings, Christmas, and the New Year. In Shetland, it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake
over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at the New Year has its
origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes which symbolized the sun. In Scotland, it is still traditionally offered to “first footers”
at the New Year.
Shortbread has been attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots, who in the mid-16th century was said to be
very fond of Petticoat Tails, a thin, crisp, buttery shortbread originally flavoured with caraway seeds.
There are two theories regarding the name of these biscuits. It has been suggested that the name
“petticoat tail” may be a corruption of the French petites galettes (“little cakes”). However these traditional
Scottish shortbread biscuits may in fact date back beyond the 12th century.
The triangles fit together into a circle and echo the shape of the pieces of fabric used to make a full gored
petticoat during the reign of Elizabeth I. The theory here is that the name may have come from the word.
Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments (“Petticoat Tails”);
individual round biscuits (“Shortbread Rounds”); or a thick rectangular slab cut into “fingers.”