Shortbread day is a weird holiday that celebrates the Scottish dessert. We’re not sure when it became a holiday exactly, but we know about its history!
Shortbread is traditionally made of sugar, butter, and flour (at a 1:2:3 ratio), but many modern recipes use a mix of granulated and powdered sugar with a dash of salt.
The word “short” for shortbread doesn’t reference the length, but rather because of its crumbly texture taht is caused by shortening (aka, any fat that causes the short/crumbly texture).
Mary, Queen of Scots, is credited with the creation of shortbread during the 16th century, but it was actually being made as early as the 12th century (along with windmills, spectacles, and gunpowder). It was very expensive to make and was considered a luxury for the wealthy on special occasions.
Shortbread is even featured in William Shakespeare’s play “The Merry Wives of Windsor” which was written in the 17th century.
Shortbread has mostly been prominent in Scotland and northern Britain, where there are many traditions associated with it. Once such tradition occurs in Shetland, where shortbread is broken over a bride’s head as she enters her new home!
Nowadays, we celebrate shortbread on January 6th.
Ideas to Celebrate National Shortbread Day
The best way to celebrate Shortbread Day is by buying some shortbread, or by making some yourself! Here are a bunch of recipes you’re sure to enjoy.
This Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprint Cookie recipe is a traditional cookie and a recipe that’s been passed down for generations and can be used on National Shortbread Day. It’s a buttery soft cookie that’s baked with jam in the center, then drizzled with icing for a sweet finish.
Chocolate shortbread cookies made with melted chocolate. Small batch chocolate shortbread sticks are great for dunking in tea or coffee. Using melted chocolate instead of cocoa makes these shortbread cookies intensely chocolatey and rich. Perfect for an edible gift on National Shortbread Day.
You just need a few ingredients to make these easy savoury cheese shortbread cookies. They are basically like cheese biscuits, tender, yet flaky and airy, and the dough is easy to make in the food processor with just a few ingredients in under 1 minute. These savoury cookies make an excellent addition your dinner on National Shortbread Day.
If you’re looking for a unique cookie for National Shortbread Day and you love a bit of crunch, these Toffee Shortbread Cookies are for you! This is a family recipe that I’ve added toffee too for a bit of extra flavor. They’re soft with a bit of buttery texture and then the toffee adds crunch.
These Raspberry Shortbread Cookies With Lemon Glaze are the perfect treat any time of year, including National Shortbread Day! With bright fruity flavors and a buttery cookie base, this easy recipe is sure to become a favorite!
These gorgeous Millionaire Shortbread bars are a fun and fancy addition to your National Shortbread Day cookie plate. With three perfect layers of sweet shortbread, buttery soft caramel, and rich chocolate ganache, every bite of these caramel shortbread cookies is a decadent delight! This is a cookie bar everyone will want to try.
This Pecan Pie Bars recipe is easy to make and, believe it or not, BETTER than pecan pie! The bars are rich, silky, and the shortbread crust is the stuff your buttery dreams are made of! Enjoy it as a unique treat on National Shortbread Day.
These slice-and-bake cranberry orange shortbread cookies are the Best. Cookies. Ever. And they’re ridiculously easy. Keep a dough log in the freezer so you can slice and bake them when needed. Make up a big batch on National Shortbread Day, then enjoy all year long!
These vegan lemon shortbread cookies are a melt-in-your-mouth classic treat with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze. They are tasty and addictive, so you should make some for National Shortbread Day this year!
A two-layer bar with a soft, crumbly shortbread base and rich, dark chocolate ganache topping. Laced with spice, these bars typify what National Shortbread Day baking should be: simple, sensational and completely irresistible.
Almond shortbread cookies taste amazing on their own but can be decorated with lots of different toppings and flavors for a fun and festive cookie that everyone in the family will love on National Shortbread Day.
When you know you’ll be visiting Edinburgh , the first thing you need to do is book at least one night at the luxurious Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street! They leave a tin of their famous shortbread on your pillow, along with the recipe!