Time to dig out your favorite shortbread recipe!
That’s right. For the first time, Mid-Maryland’s Celtic Festival will feature a Shortbread Contest!
For the Traditionalist, we will have a Traditional Category just for you.
Want to get a little wild and crazy with your shortbread?
We have a separate category just for you, the Adventurous Category.
We are looking forward to your participation.
All entries become property of St. Andrew’s Society of Mid-Maryland
*Choose your recipe then the category.
There are two categories:
1. Traditional Shortbread
Traditional recipes reflect the regions of Scotland and are presented in the traditional shapes.
(Petticoat, Tails, Fingers, etc.)
2. Adventurous Shortbread
Based on traditional recipes but reflects the imagination and adventure of the Celts. Use non-traditional ingredients, flavors, exotic spices, toppings, and shapes.
*Enter as many times as you like!
*Each entry must be in its own non-returnable presentation dish or container.
*2 Entries on one presentation dish/container will be disqualified.
*Submit six (6) pieces of shortbread (per entry)
*Indicate whether your entry is “Traditional” or “Adventurous”
*Please do not label your dish or container with your name.
What exactly is shortbread?
What makes it short? Is it bread?
*Shortbread originated in Scotland. Shortbread is referred to as a biscuit in the United Kingdom. Here in the United States, we would call it a cookie. Shortbread’s basic ingredients are butter, sugar and flour. The texture of shortbread is crisp. Hold a piece of shortbread with two hands. When you break it, the cookie “snaps”. Due to its’ texture, the cookies has the ability to snap; hence, the source of “short” in shortbread.
*Keeping with this type of texture, add yeast and you have the beginning of short cakes. The yeast in these early cakes could result in an uneven rise. Any skilled Baker could fix this by pricking the surface of the cake (also called ‘docking’). Fast forward to the new Millennium and many modern Bakers kept the pricked holes for decorating shortbread.
*Short cakes were eaten across Great Britain and many local biscuits are variations on the basic recipe (Shrewsbury cakes or Goosnargh cakes). However, Shortbread has a strong association with Scotland. The best are exported worldwide. Take a peek at your local store. You’ll find delightful tins of Walkers Shortbread—a family owned and family managed bakery since 1898 and Scotland’s largest food exporter.
*Now what about the “bread” in shortbread? Going back in time, the word “bread” has been used to refer to cakes. Today’s cakes derive from sweetened, yeast-risen breads. There is one story that explains the use of the word “shortbread.” A group of Scottish bakers used the word “shortbread” to argue a case against paying the government’s tax on biscuits. To this day, the United Kingdom has a law that prevents tax on biscuits and cakes. Chocolate on those biscuits? You pay tax. Chocolate covered biscuits are considered luxuries—thus the luxury tax.
*Shortbread has stood the test of time. Mary, Queen of Scots, enjoyed her shortbread thin with caraway seeds. Today it makes a great souvenir of your trip to Scotland. Shortbread is no longer a delicacy saved for special occasions or holidays. You can buy the basic ingredients at the grocery store and whip up a batch or buy a box of Walkers Shortbread at your local store.
Let’s get busy baking or shopping!
Walkers has been a proud supporter of the St. Andrew’s Society of Mid-Maryland and its annual Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival for a decade!