Sketch #1 – Holiday Baking

Grandma Campbell's World Famous Shortbread

Ah, holiday baking!

That beautiful tray of sugar sprinkled, chocolate coated, buttery, decadent treats! It’s only seen once a year and when spotted by voracious youngsters is quickly consumed. Nom, nom, nom!

I have wonderful memories of baking with my Mum at Christmastime. She’d make the traditional fruit cake just after Halloween (so it could age in the cold room) and then we’d make marzipan to top it about a two weeks before Christmas. The leftover marzipan was rolled into balls and stuffed inside dates or sandwiched between walnuts and then rolled in sugar. We’d make Peppermint creams, and Yo-Yo’s, and mince meat pies and then, the pièce de résistance, her Shortbread!

It’s been up to me to make her shortbread since she passed away. I had to experiment as she wasn’t there to pass on her secrets, and every year my adopted Dad (who was Mum’s Biggest Shortbread Fan) would say “it’s pretty close Al, but not quite like Edith used to make it”. Finally, one year I got the official approval. I’d done it! Well, ever since then it’s become a Sign of the Holidays in our house. When my husband comes home to that warm buttery smell and sees rounds of flaky, golden goodness sitting on the counter, he knows it’s officially Christmas.

What baking do you associate with the holidays? You’ve heard my shortbread story, what’s yours? Pecan pie? Butter tarts? Gingerbread cookies? Shortbread is a traditional Scottish treat, what cultural sweet did you grow up with? Do you have a secret family recipe for it? And now for the million dollar question …

Have you scrapbooked about it yet?

Let me show you how I used this sketch to tell my shortbread story.

12 sketches - baking

And now, for my promise … my super secret, family recipe for traditional Scottish Shortbread …


1 cup softened butter (salted is best)

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar


Preheat your oven to 350F.

Cream the butter until super soft. [TOP SECRET TIP: I leave my butter out on the counter for at least a week before I bake with it. Don’t worry, it’s not going to spoil (unless you live in Australia without air conditioning, then it may melt!) You just want the butter to be really, really soft. Trust me!]

Sift the flour and sugar together and slowly add to the butter. The dough will be very firm when you’ve finished adding in the flour, it may even look too dry. DON’T PANIC! A little kneading with the hands will bind it all together in an instant.

Press the dough into a round cake pan – 8″ or 9″ work best. Use your hands to get it evenly pressed down. Smooth it as best you can.

Take the prongs of a fork – flat side, not pokey ends! – and use them to go around the edge of the pan to create a crimped edging detail to the shortbread dough. Then use the pokey ends to poke many holes into the dough. This will prevent air bubbles from being created in the baking process.

Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

IMMEDIATELY upon removing from the oven, sprinkle with sugar and slice into wedges. The number of wedges will depend on how generous you wish to be! I usually cut my rounds into 24 fairly narrow wedges. It is rich after all!

Allow to cool. Enjoy!

Oh, and if you forget to cut it while it’s still warm, DON’T PANIC, simply break it up into artistic chunks and pretend like it’s meant to look that way!

Shortbread Joy by Alison Day Designs

Now it’s your turn. Share your layouts with us by leaving a link in the comments below or on my Facebook Page. I would love to be able to visit your site and leave you some love too!

Happy Scrapping!



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