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Salt and Pepper Scottish Shortbread

A twist on a traditional Scottish shortbread recipe flavoured with salt and pepper and cut in the familiar shortbread fingers.

salt and pepper scottish shortbread fingers

Larder Love

I don't usually share guest posts on Tinned Tomatoes, but after chatting to Karon from Larder Love, I asked her if she would like to send me over a post, so my readers could meet her.

Karon is a published author who has been writing her blog for a while now. She used to blog about any recipe that came to mind, but now she focuses on her larder and things like preserves, homemade butters and biscuits and as you can see her photos are absolutely stunning.


Karon Grieve

Karon Grieve from Larder Love

Hi,  I’m Karon from Larder Love and I’m thrilled to visit here and be able to share one of my recipes and a bit of fun news with you. 

To celebrate the launch of my new ebook Gourmet Gifts For Christmas which is available now on Amazon Kindle  I am sharing a recipe on Tinned Tomatoes.

Everyone loves receiving something homemade, it shows how much you care for the recipient that you took the time and trouble to make something especially for them.

A gift of food is even more special, something that can be enjoyed and shared, savoured and remembered long after the festive season is over.

Here is a simple recipe for Salt & Pepper Shortbread (from my new Gourmet Gifts For Christmas) which makes a very welcome and traditional foodie gift but with the modern twist of the salt and pepper it takes it into another dimension and something a wee bit special.

Huge thanks to Jac for inviting me on to her blog and letting me share all this with you.

Merry Christmas when it comes!

Karon x

History of Scottish Shortbread

In the Middle Ages shortbread was made from leftover bread dough which was rolled very thin and baked until crisp.

Over the years the yeast was removed and butter was added. 

Mary Queen of Scots was a fan of shortbread and her cooks refined the recipe to what we enjoy today.

The name itself comes from the dough which is short, which makes the biscuits crumbly and melt in the mouth. 

Love Scottish recipes, try these vegan lemon & lime shortbread cookies.

Shortbread Shapes

Petticoat Tails

This is a really traditional pattern. It is bake in a round after pressing in a shortbread mould and then cut into triangles. It is said the pattern is reminiscent of Mary Queen of Scots petticoats.


Fingers are probably the most popular of all the shapes shortbread is made or sold in. 

When shortbread is made in fingers it usually includes a sprinkling of sugar on top and a decoration of holes made by a fork.


These are not as popular and are often made at home as it's easy to use a cookie cutter when cutting the dough.

For more Scottish recipes have a look at my recipe index of Scottish Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians

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Salt and Pepper Scottish Shortbread - A twist on a traditional Scottish shortbread recipe flavoured with salt and pepper and cut in the familiar shortbread fingers. A tasty teatime treat. #shortbread #scottishshortbread #scottishshortbread #shortcake #cookie #biscuit

Shortbread Moulds

Many Scottish grannies had wooden shortbread moulds they used when making shortbread. The dough would be pressed into the mould before baking with the family pattern.

I have my gran's mould, which is a thistle pattern, which is the national flower of Scotland.

If you don't have a mould, you can use cookie cutters or cut roll and cut into fingers.

Shortbread or Shortcake?

Shortcake is not the same as shortbread. 

Shortbread is made with butter or (dairy-free spread) and has no raising agent. It is buttery, crumbly and melt in the mouth.

Shortcake is often made with vegetable fat and has a raising agent so it has a different texture.

shortbread, Scottish shortbread, shortbread fingers, Scottish biscuits, Scottish cookies, Scottish recipes
Yield: 1 tray of shortbread

Salt and Pepper Scottish Shortbread

Salt and Pepper Scottish Shortbread

A twist on a traditional Scottish shortbread recipe flavoured with salt and pepper and cut in the familiar shortbread fingers.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 40 M


  • 265g/9½oz unsalted butter
  • 100g/3 1/2 oz caster sugar
  • 60g/1½oz rice flour
  • a big pinch of flaky sea salt
  • a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper


How to cook Salt and Pepper Scottish Shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 160c/140c fan/325f/gas mark 3.
  2. Butter & line 20 x 20 tin.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar till fluffy and add in flours and big pinch of salt and good sprinkling of black pepper.
  4. Push into prepared tray and prick all over with fork.
  5. Chill in fridge for for 1 hours and then bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
  6. Mark slices with sharp knife and cool in tin before cutting completely. Scatter with more salt and pepper


I've not included chill time in the recipe, but do include time to chill the dough.

Don't overwork the dough. This is important for a short crumbly texture.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Thanks to Karon for the wonderful recipe. I do hope you enjoy this recipe and have a look at her blog and ebook.


  1. Mmm, what a lovely colour, and bet it's nice and crunchy with the rice flour...

    1. It looks wonderful doesn't it? I am definitely trying it soon.

  2. I inherited my MIL's shortbread recipe which she made for our wedding guests - delicious with the rice flour. Don't she would have approved of the salt & pepper but I definitely do! Vohn x

    1. I think it's a nice addition too. I've never made shortbread with rice flour before though.

  3. salt and pepper shortbread - I'd like to taste that - and the site looks really interesting, especially the blog event - will think about if I have something to send in

  4. They look nice and crumbly, and you can kid yourself their not as fattening if they've got salt and pepper on and therefore a savoury twist can't you .... well I can :-)

    1. Hehe, you go for it Sue. Although one finger won't hurt too much, it's stopping after one that's the problem :)

  5. Thanks for the chance to guest with you Jac, love the look of the post.
    Karon x

    1. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us Karon and good luck with the challenge and ebook.

  6. I love the idea of a savoury shortbread!

    1. It's a great idea, the sweet with a little bit of salt and pepper.

  7. Wow that looks delicious - never tried it with salt and pepper, but I can imagine it's lovely. Will definitely be trying this out and also hoping to enter into the home made gifts event too!!!

  8. Love pepper in shortbread. Made this with Peppermongers pepper range and it works really well. Also lovely with oregano salt

  9. Looks really good shortbread- my mum would have approved! Thanks for introducing Karon- I might submit a recipe to her event...

  10. Can't wait to give this a go! Love the idea of mixing up the traditional recipe a little!

    1. It's a great idea isn't it, would be great with some hot mulled wine or cider.

  11. Very interesting shortbread recipe, I think I'll have to try this soon as I'm intrigued to see what it tastes like as it looks amazing :)

    1. It does, such a gorgeous photo. I wish I had Karon's skill with a camera.

  12. What an interesting recipe - I bet it tastes lovely

  13. What an interesting shortbread flavour. I love to create edible gifts so Karon's book sounds great. I look forward to discovering her blog and will think up an entry to her event too.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x