Mum’s Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients
250 gr Butter
500gr Cake Flour (All-Purpose Flour)
125 gr sugar

Method
Heat oven to 170 degrees / 350 / Fan-oven 150 degrees.
Lightly butter a tray.
Cream butter and sugar well together
Gradually add flour and knead well to make to a biscuit dough
Roll or press the dough into a tray to about 1cm thick
Prick the dough all over with a fork to let in air and cut through the dough to make oblong squares
Lightly dust with castor sugar and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown
Leave to cool in tray for a few minutes to firm up
Dust with more sugar if needed
Lift the shortbread out of the tray and cool on a rack
Shortbread will keep for 3 – 4 days in an air-tight container (good excuse to eat it all up) and can be served with a wee dram of Scottish single malt whisky

Shortbread

A fact you might not know as to why the Scots celebrate Hogmanay more than Christmas.
It is believed that many of the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were originally brought to Scotland by the invading Vikings in the early 8th and 9th centuries. These Norsemen, or men from an even more northerly latitude than Scotland, paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice or the shortest day, and fully intended to celebrate its passing with some serious partying.

However, many people are not aware that Christmas was banned in Scotland! The act of Yule celebrations (from the Norse word jole) was discouraged from 1583, and was officially prohibited in 1640. People were even arrested for illegally celebrating the banned holiday.

Why, you might ask? Well, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland believed that Yule celebrations didn’t reflect what was written in the bible, and the straight-laced Kirk proclaimed Christmas as a Popish or Catholic feast, and as such needed banning. Seriously! The Parliament of Scotland’s Christmas ban lasted 400 years, with Christmas only becoming a public holiday in 1958 and up until then, many Scots worked over Christmas celebrating their winter solstice holiday at New Year when family and friends would gather for a party and to exchange presents. The 2nd of January is also a holiday in Scotland. Therefore, most Scottish Christmas traditions are relatively new

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

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