Scottish shortbread appetizers filled with goodness

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

Served in Scottish shortbread cups, these appetizers are sticky, salty-sweet and delicious, especially during the holidays. Shortbread has been around for many centuries, thought to have originated in Scotland as a specifically designed biscuit using yeast.

Over time, the base of this recipe has evolved into 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour, with additions to match desired tastes. Taste the flavor of Scotland, Yanked!

stickyscottishpecanappsNonstick cooking spray
Savory Shortbread Crust:
1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
6 tablespoons flavored cream cheese, room temperature *
6 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 strip bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Grease a 6-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Beat all crust ingredients together with an electric mixer until it forms a dough. Pinch off 6 equal-sized balls of dough.

Between 2 sheets of film wrap, roll each ball of dough out into a circle just large enough to cover the bottom of muffin cups and up the sides about an inch. Line each of the prepared muffin cups with rolled out dough; set aside.

For the filling, beat all ingredients together with an electric mixer until well combined. Divide filling among the 6 lined muffin cups. The filling may come up over the sides of the dough slightly, but that is fine.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until the center of the filling is firm. Remove from oven to cool slightly before lifting out to cool enough to serve.

* Chose whatever you desire. I used garden vegetable cream cheese, but there is such a variety, I hesitate to begin naming all of them.

Makes 6

Because of the delay in my newest cookbook being released internationally, I would like to offer you a pre-production, signed copy for $20, delivered! The delay was caused by some image issues, which are being taken care of, but we need to wait another couple weeks. So in the meantime, here is my gift to you, but only for a short time, Email me at before the price goes up upon the release date.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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