You are here
Home > Articles > What is shortbread, its ingredients, flavours, and what makes it unique?

What is shortbread, its ingredients, flavours, and what makes it unique?

There are many things you remember about your childhood. Most probably, cookies would be one of them. As adults, you continue loving them as you did during childhood, for these soft, warm, and scented discs provide the ultimate satisfaction. 

Canadians love biscuits, more so perhaps than any other country. According to a report, about 72% of its population are passionate about them, followed by cakes, doughnuts, and pastries. 

Shortbread cookies, in particular, have garnered a considerable following since they arrived in Canada about 42 years ago. If you click here for shortbread cookies Canada, you will know what makes them so popular and why you should not miss out on tasting them.

But what makes it different from other cookies you find in the market or stores? Are there unique ingredients involved in the preparation process? And how does its taste differ from others? 

Read on to get the answers to these questions, along with other details that you will find interesting. 

What does shortbread mean?

It gets its name for the one part sugar and two parts butter ratio contained in it, the traditional ratio used by bakers. The dough has a high-fat content, which makes the biscuit melt in your mouth immediately after you take a bite.

The snack originates in Scotland, where the Scottish present it as gifts to each other on Hogmanay (the new year in Scotland). 

Which ingredients does it have?

One quality that separates this cookie from the others is the absence of leavenings like baking soda, baking powder or yeast. Top bakeries in Canada that specialize in making it use real, creamy butter and pure, natural ingredients, like the ones mentioned below.

Creamery butter

Bakeries get their rich creamery salted butter from local farmers in Canada who make it by churning pasteurized cream and then adding salt. 

Milled flours and extra fine sugar

Besides butter, a bakery uses premium milled flour and extra fine sugar with small grains. The Canadian Sugar Institute defines it as those whose crystal size is the best of all granulated sugar and dissolves easily in different liquids. 

Dutch cocoa

The best confectionaries use 56% Dutch Cocoa powder, which gives the cookie a dark, rich colour and a bitter-sweet taste.

Pure maple syrup

Maple syrup sugar is another ingredient necessary for the preparation of shortbread. Canada has specific requirements for its density, according to which the syrup should be produced from maple sap concentration and have at least 66% of minimum soluble solids content. 

However, the best bakeries use dark, pure Quebec maple sugar. About 91% of maple produced in Canada comes from Quebec, famous worldwide for its superior flavour and quality.

Nuts and dried fruits

Various dried fruits like almonds, cashews, raisins, walnuts, sultanas, and hazelnuts are used to make delicious shortbread. The best bakeries use them in their original form, without adding sugar, preservatives, or anything artificial. 

What kind of flavours do they come in?

You will find them in various appealing flavours like classic, chocolate crunch, dutch chocolate, maple crunch, shortbread truffles, and gluten-free.

Gluten-free is an ideal choice for the approximately 12.9% of Canadians who avoid gluten in their diet. However, gluten-free cookies taste just as delicious, thanks to their ingredients like coconut flour and ground almonds. 

Can you give them as presents?

Canadians exchange gifts on special occasions such as New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving, parties, anniversaries, and get-togethers. Shortbread is the best gift you can give, as it is available in various collections like signature tins, everyday boxes, clear decorative boxes, and butterscotch crumbs. 

Shortbread is cookie at its finest: pure, tasty, and completely natural. The first time you take a single bite, its flavours play in your mouth, making their presence known slowly. But for the best taste and experience, you should always buy them from the best bakery.