Dundonian Shortbreads

Recipe courtesy of David Dempster

A good friend gave us this recipe, which I have made far too frequently as of late, much to the delight of the folks at John’s office (hi guys!). As requested, here’s how to make Dundonian shortbreads (Dundonian = someone from Dundee, Scotland, in case you were perplexed).

Prep. and notes before starting:

  • grease a 10″ x 10″ pan & “flour” it with sugar (you do this by dumping 1/8 cup of sugar into the greased pan and swishing it around until the inside of the pan is coated. Leave the excess in there.
  • preheat oven to 350F
  • I always double this recipe. If you do, too, use a larger pan.
  • you can add chocolate chips, if you like
  • 1/2 Tbsp of ground ginger makes a nice addition, as does candied ginger pressed onto the top.
  • to make chocolate shortbreads, substitute 1/3 cup of cocoa for 1/3 cup of flour
  • you can substitute oat flour instead of corn starch
  • this recipe makes an excellent cheesecake crust
  • for truly exotic times, half-dip the finished bars in melted chocolate

Ingredients (for basic recipe):

  • 12 oz white flour (approx. 2 1/3 cup)
  • 4 oz corn starch (approx. 2/3 to 3/4 cup – somewhere in-between works well)
  • 4 oz granulated white sugar (extra fine, if you have it – not icing sugar, which has cornstarch added)
  • 8 oz cold butter (1 cup)


  1. Dump flour, sugar, cornstarch into bowl.
  2. Mix with fingers.
  3. Add butter. Rub into mixture with fingers until the consistency of fine crumbs.
  4. Dump the works into the prepared pan and tamp down with a spatula (I use a potato masher).
  5. Slide into oven.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes. Check to see if edges are slightly golden (they probably won’t be, but ovens vary). If edges are not at all golden, shove back in until they are (up to ten more minutes).
  7. When edges are golden, remove from over.
  8. Let sit for 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Press down with potato masher or spatula again.
  10. Sprinkle with sugar (optional, but yummy).
  11. Let sit for another 10 minutes, then cut into squares or fingers or whatever other bar-shape tickles your fancy.
  12. Allow dish to cool on cooling rack. After cool, store in airtight container.



One Comment Add yours

  1. sarai. says:

    Thank you so much, Vicky! I just finished making a batch up, and I tried a little piece, and it is very tasty. I’ll be passing shortbread out in the department tomorrow. I think it’ll go over very well. 🙂

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