I have loved shortbread for as long as I can remember. My best friend from pre-primary’s mom, Aethel, made the best shortbread which always seemed to be available at her house. Brendon (my friend) used to even bring shortbread for me at primary school from his mom because she knew how much I liked it.
There’s little worse than disappointing shortbread though. That shortbread that leaves a baking powder/bicarb taste in your mouth is the worst. And don’t even get me started on shortbread that doesn’t crisp, and crumbles when you put it in your mouth.
Nothing was ever able to compare to Aethel’s shortbread until my friend Andrew brought me shortbread for Christmas a few years ago that his grandmother had made. It was incredible. I’m not calling any winners for the best, because I honestly think they are as good as the other.
Because Andrew is Scottish, and he and I recently travelled to Scotland on my adventures (he even bought his mom a shortbread press there), I thought it appropriate to use his family recipe for this week. His mom, Jill, explains that Grandma is the shortbread maker in their family, and the recipe Jill sent me was titled ‘Grandma’s shortbread’ which is why the blog is titled as such. Here is a link to the recipe for Grandma’s Shortbread.
I really can’t fault it. I used a round pan because the pan I own doesn’t fit in my oven (I realise this is ridiculous). The taste was exactly perfect and I had rave reviews from my family about it. There’s nothing I can criticize about it – it just worked so well!
I did have a good laugh while making it though, and was grateful my mom was with me in Joburg to assist. When reading the recipe you’ll see it says “10 minutes at 180, 10 minutes at 140 etc”. I thought it was giving me choices – like I could choose which temperature to bake the shortbread at. My mom very kindly explained that this is not the case, but that the oven needs to be cooled down to the various temperatures at 10 minute intervals. Look, I would like to think that at 10 minutes of cooking on 180 degrees I would have realised something was wrong, but I really can’t be sure. You certainly do learn something new every day!