Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Holiday Bonus - Favorite Family Cookie Recipe from Scotland

Cookies help discover the local region history.  Yes, you may find out quite a bit of information about the local people in other regions through cookie tasting. 

I collect personal food recipes on my trips from local people in different countries (International) and different states (USA). It is through these recipes people may really get acquainted with how people live and what they do day to day.  Cookie recipes are especially fun to gather and then use during the holiday season. You might even include a picture from your vacation in holiday cookie bags to give to your friends.  

My favorite childhood memories are sitting at our large, round oak kitchen table and watching my Mother, other relatives, and friends assemble, from the beginning, many different types of cookies from around the world. I think now it may have been the actual natural experience working together one whole day before the holidays – this brings a smile to me when I think about these old family holiday memories.

My featured guest, Sharon Affeltranger, Harpist and Speaker, has traveled many roads internationally.  She still stays in Scotland several times a year where she has played in many harp concerts and programs. 

Sharon Affeltranger, Harpist & Speaker
 I love to listen to her entertaining and fun local travel stories she tells me when I see her between trips.  Today, Sharon shares an old family recipe of a Scottish holiday treat, Shortbread.  Thank you, Sharon, for this gift!    

Aunt Chrisie's Shortbread

Christmas is a cookie making time when we get out all those tried and true old family recipes.  I am sharing one from Scotland that is an all time favorite in our family. 

Aunt Chrisie, while not really a relative, was a very dear friend who lived in Mallaig and as the song goes "Across the sea from Skye."  It was near here in the Scottish Highlands that Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stewart) disguised himself as the maid of Flora MacDonald and made his escape from Scotland after the debacle at Culloden in 1746.  It is this Scottish history which is captured on the many different types of shortbread tins you may purchase today.

Shortbread actually began with the medieval “biscuit bread” and since evolved into an expensive luxury which ordinary people prepare as a special treat during the holidays and special occasions.  

Image by Ivenks, Bershire UK

Shortbread is a unique Scottish treat still passed down through generations.  

Now the secret family recipe for you to try:


The "secret" to this recipe is the rice flour as well as the 24 hour wait to taste - if you can!
4 ounces butter
2 ounces fine (castor) sugar (U.S. equivalent:  a rounded 1/4 cup)
6 ounces flour - about 1/4 of total should be rice flour.  (U.S. equivalent:  1 1/4 cups)
1 ounce corn starch (U.S. equivalent:  4 tbsp.)

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. 
Add other ingredients.

Knead well on floured board.
Pack (hard) into 1, 7" cake pans
Prick with fork
Bake at 300° for 30 minutes and then 250° for one hour.

Cut while hot and sprinkle with sugar.

Let stand for 24 hours - if you can!  It's really better.  

A special treat, dipped in chocolate!

Sharon Affeltranger, Harpist and Speaker, has played in many programs throughout San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California, and Scotland. In addition to playing, she offers engaging speaking and playing programs from 30 minutes to 1 hour featuring various types of music, history of the harp, differences between the Celtic Harp and the Concert Harp and how it is played.

If you are in search of unique background music during dinners, events, or holiday programs, please send a direct email to us and we will be sure to forward the information to Sharon. 
Additionally, we work as a consulting team when creating special Scottish vacations for people to explore off the beaten path.  

Will you share a favorite cookie recipe that you found on one of your trips? Post a comment or email us.  

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Happy Holiday ~ create many safe and wonderful memories this year! ~ The Fun Tour Guru

Group Trips and Tours now ~ Lighthouse Travel and Tours

Shortbread image is by Ivenks, Bershire UK 
Shortbread dipped in chocolate is by Lauri Patterson
Bakers image is from Microsoft image gallery.

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