Perfect Shortbread Biscuits/Cookies

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I have a hankering for a biscuit from years ago, Royal Scot.  They were made by McVities but I think production ceased in the 1970s.  They were a delicious shortbread type biscuit, rich in colour and flavour and with a great texture.  

Since I have been unable to find any recipe that purports to be similar I decided to try to make my own.  As a first step I have come up with what I think is just about the perfect shortbread biscuit, or cookie.  These are crisp in texture and they just about melt in the mouth with a lovely buttery flavour and they are not too sweet.

Although they are definitely not a substitute for Royal Scot biscuits they area good substitute and something that I can work on over the next few weeks.  

The recipe is very simple, using flour, butter and sugar.  Adding ground rice(or fine semolina) adds a lovely sandy texture too.  I also added some diastatic malt powder, in the hope that it would add some colour to the biscuits, and a very slight flavour.  But I don’t think it actually made much of a difference at all.  So although I show it in the recipe below it most certainly is only optional.

My biscuits turned out very well indeed, I loved the texture and the taste was wonderful.  I will be making them again for sure, and tweaking the recipe on my quest for a Royal Scot substitute.

Perfect Shortbread Biscuits/Cookies

Perfect Shortbread Biscuits/Cookies Video


  • 225g(1 cup)cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 230g(1 3/4 cups) plain flour
  • 70g(1/2 cup) ground rice or fine semolina
  • 75g(1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp diastatic malt powder(optional).


  1. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a food processor(or rub butter into dry ingredients by hand) and pulse/process until the mixture begins to clump.
  3. Tip out onto a work surface and use your hands to squeeze the mixture into a dough ball.
  4. Flour the surface and roll the dough out(I cut mine in two to roll out, for ease) to a thickness of 1/4 inch/5mm.
  5. Use the scalloped side of a cookie cutter, 2.5 inches/7cm in diameter,  to cut out shapes.
  6. Use a skewer to poke holes in the dough, about 17 holes, in two circles of 8 and one hole in the middle(or however you wish to do it).
  7. Carefully transfer the cut out cookies to the baking tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  9. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until they have turned a nice golden colour(mine took 15 minutes).
  10. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking tray for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.


    • Yes, definitely the salt was important to the experience of eating them. I remember the lovely hit of salt crystals on my tongue.

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