National Shortbread Day

Shortbread is an unleavened, traditional Scottish biscuit made from two parts butter, one part white sugar, and three parts oat flour, or alternatively, four parts wheat flour. Unlike other types of baked goods, shortbread doesn’t contain any leavening agents such as baking soda or powder. Because of its high fat content, shortbread has a crumbly texture. It’s also the star of its own holiday, known as National Shortbread Day, observed on January 6th.

The History of Shortbread

The evidence clearly shows that shortbread originated in Scotland. It was invented during the Middle Ages and was originally a twice-baked bread roll dusted with spices and sugar before being turned into a dry, hard, and sweetened biscuit known as a rusk.

Through the 12th and 15th centuries, butter began to be added to shortbread, and it became closer to the shortbread we know today. Most accounts credit Mary, Queen of Scots with the refinement of shortbread during the 16th century. This shortbread was made with more butter, cut into wedges, and flavored with caraway seeds.

The Tastiest Facts About Shortbread

We searched the World Wide Web high and low to find some of the most interesting and tastiest facts about shortbread we could find. Did we find them? You bet we did. We found facts that we think everyone will appreciate and will want to share with friends and family on National Shortbread Day. Let’s take a quick look at them before we head off and start talking about celebrating this holiday.

  • Shortbread and shortcake are not the same products. Shortcakes can be made with vegetable oil instead of butter, and they usually have some type of chemical leavening agent added to them.
  • Shortbread not only needs flour, butter, and sugar, but it also requires salt.
  • Shortbread was originally a 12th-century biscuit bread.
  • The first printed recipe for shortbread was published in 1736 by Mrs. McLintock in Scotland.
  • Early Scottish bakers fought to prevent shortbread from being classified as a biscuit to avoid paying the government tax on biscuits.
  • Shortbread can be made in petticoat tails, rounds, or fingers.
  • The name ‘shortbread’ comes from the fact that pastries and biscuits that are crumbly are known as “short.”
  • Shortbread is an extremely popular Christmas treat.
  • Shortbread can be used to make pie crusts, icebox cakes, crumbled over ice cream, or used in a parfait.
  • Shortbread can also be used to make ice cream sandwich cookies.

Observing National Shortbread Day

National Shortbread Day is a holiday that’s pretty easy to celebrate. First, you have to make sure that you have access to some decent shortbread—shortbread that you either make yourself or that you’ve purchased from a bakery. Next, you’re going to want to make sure that you share that shortbread with friends and family. And finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you post a picture of said shortbread to your social media accounts using the hashtag #NationalShortbreadDay. Congratulations! You just celebrated this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
January 6 Saturday
Next year (2025)
January 6 Monday
Last year (2023)
January 6 Friday
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