Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for 'Scotland'

Shortbread #recipe

Scotland immediately comes to mind when I think of shortbread, and my next thought is always Christmas. It’s said that shortbread developed from a medieval recipe, with the modernized recipe attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots. Over time the ingredients changed, with butter replacing the yeast. Butter was an expensive ingredient, which meant shortbread was only baked on special occasions. Butter has become very expensive down here in New Zealand, so nothing has changed in that respect!

I tend to bake shortbread at Christmas. It’s one of my favorite biscuits to eat, a trait I fear I inherited from my father because it’s his firm favorite too.

The recipe I use comes from Jo Seagar’s Easy-Peasy Summer Entertaining recipe book.

Shortbread

Shortbread

250 grams softened butter (1.1 cup American)
3/4 cup icing sugar/confectioners sugar
1/2 cornflour/cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour

Beat the butter and icing sugar until creamy. Mix in the cornflour and flour. Roll into teaspoon size balls with your hands. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten and press with damp shortbread mold. Bake at 150C for 25-30 minutes until the shortbread is pale but crisp. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Shelley’s notes:

1. The original recipe says to roll out the dough and cut out star shapes. I’ve always found the dough too soft to do this–maybe because I tend to make this recipe during the heat of a New Zealand summer–and after experimenting I’ve found teaspoon size balls work best for me.

2. If I feel in the mood for a variation with bite I add 1 tablespoon of cocoa and 1 teaspoon of chili powder just before I add the flour and cornflour. Sometimes I’ll also add chocolate chips-the small kind.

3. If you don’t have a shortbread mold, press down with a fork. Dip the fork in a cup of cold water after flattening each biscuit to avoid sticking.

Chocolate Chilli Shortbread

Here’s a photo of the Chili Chocolate Shortbread.

Are you a shortbread fan?

A Doggy Tale: Greyfriars Bobby

Most visitors to Edinburgh, Scotland can’t resist this heart-warming tale of a loyal Skye terrier who guarded his master’s grave for fourteen years.

Bobby was the watch dog of John Gray, a police constable in Edinburgh. The pair often took walks to Greyfrairs Place, a coffee house owned by Mr. William Ramsey and were a well known sight. John “Jock” Gray developed tuberculosis and died in Feb 1858.

The funeral took place, and Bobby refused to leave the graveside. Dogs weren’t allowed in the Kirkyard, but Bobby stubbornly remained at his master’s side. Locals took pity on the loyal terrier and started to feed him. They continued looking after the tenacious terrier until he died 14 years later in 1872.

Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh, Scotland  Headstone, Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh

According to records, Bobby had a stumpy tail that constantly wagged and a courageous character. He didn’t like strangers, yet was devoted to family and his master. Disney made a movie about Greyfriars Bobby, which I remember watching as a child, so I was thrilled to visit his statue and headstone during our visit to Edinburgh.

A truly wonderful story.

Have you seen the Disney version of Greyfriars Bobby? Cartoons aside, what is your favorite Disney movie?