Shortbread is commonly referred to as a celebration food. It originated in Scotland and evolved from the medieval biscuit breads once baked. Shortbread is baked in a round pan resembling a circle or the sun and usually cut into wedges.
Every year on Jan. 6 people worldwide celebrate “National Shortbread Day”. This is a special day to enjoy a classic Scottish traditional dessert.
It is believed by historians that the shape of the shortbread was inspired by the sun cakes the Pagans are on New Year’s Eve. It is also a common tradition for new brides to have it broken over their heads before she enters her new home and it is also enjoyed during holidays such as Christmas.
Shortbread got its name because of the crumbly texture. This texture is achieved from the high fat content from the butter mixed into the batter. Sometimes the butter is referred to as shortening when added to a recipe will produce a short or crumbly texture.
Today there are many variations of shortbread available. Some recipes include toppings of jelly, nuts and chocolate and are baked into traditional and various shapes depending upon who is doing the baking. The type of flour can also vary from cook to cook. Plain white wheat flour is typically used however others have chosen to alter the texture by using corn flour or ground rice instead.
Celebrate National Shortbread Day and enjoy a wedge of shortbread!
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