Scottish shortbread originally comes from a biscuit made in medieval times. Originally made with yeast, once the butter was added and the yeast removed, it evolved into shortbread, derived from the shortening. It was thought to be made as early as the 12th century, but its advent was often attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots.

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About Shortbread

Mary was said to enjoy a shortbread biscuit named 'Petticoat Tails'. The shortbread was cut into triangular wedges akin to the shape of the fabric pieces used to make petticoats.

Because of the price of butter, shortbread was originally thought of as a luxury and was served only on special occasions. Bakers used to classify shortbread as a bread so that they didn't have to pay the tax that was imposed on biscuits. Now, it's a staple in our biscuit tins. There is even a National Shortbread Day on January the 6th of each year.

Shortbread is so important in some parts of Britain, there are even wedding rituals including the biscuit. In Shetland, they decorated a piece of shortbread and broke it over a bride's head before she entered her new home, for luck. The ingredients in the shortbread each meant something towards the impending marriage. Now that really takes the biscuit!