My good friend Ian got involved in my latest taste test. I wanted to find the best packaged Scottish shortbread ever. It’s such a simple cookie – flour, butter and sugar. But I’m amazed at the variations in texture, sweetness and bite.
So, Ian made the rounds in his hometown of Edinburgh and gathered up store brands, famous brands and lesser known varieties of the sweet staple.
I must confess, this has been a delightful challenge. On our soil, I tried two distinctive packaged brands. Sarabeth’s Bakery in New York City’s Chelsea Market boasts a crispy cookie with perfect breakage-free packaging. Saralyn’s Gourmet Shortbread from here in Atlanta offers unexpected flavor profiles like Rosemary Garlic and are excellent served as standalone snacks on the hors d’oeuvres platter. For a universally delicious dense shortbread, Walker’s can’t be beat. Though some of the other brands I tried are only available in Europe, one in particular stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
His Royal Highness Prince of Wales lends his name to Duchy Originals, an organic farm and food producer in Great Britain. The shortbread is thin, crispy and incredibly buttery. It didn’t stick to the roof of your mouth (like some of the heavier cookies) and it dissolved perfectly with a warm beverage. Some might even say these shortbread are fit for a queen (couldn’t resist!).
I was happy to learn that you can read about the Prince’s mission via the web at http://www.duchyoriginals.com/. Proceeds from the sales fund a variety of charities. Sadly, you must travel to Europe to purchase these exceptional shortbread cookies for yourself. What a pity!