Prizes for Shortbread: Each category will be awarded trophies: 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for both Traditional and
Modern Shortbread which entitles you to all bragging rights for the whole year!
Prizes for Scones: Each category will be awarded trophies: 1st and 2nd places for both Plain and Fruit Scones.
Shortbread is a biscuit 'shortened' by the prodigious use of glorious butter. The texture of the biscuit is crisp and snappable- hence 'short'. The term 'bread' has been used interchangeably with 'cake' for many centuries (cakes, as we now know them, derive from sweetened, yeast-risen breads), and shortbread is the descendent of the short cakes baked from the the 16th century. One story has it that Scottish bakers used the name shortbread to argue the case against paying the government's tax on biscuits (shades of Jaffa cakes v the VAT man/woman. VAT is currently not paid on cakes and biscuits, as they are deemed a necessity by UK law - the law is not always as backwards as it seems! - chocolate-covered biscuits, on the other hand, are considered luxuries and therefore are taxable).
Short cakes were made from the same ingredients as we would use for a sweet shortcrust pastry (short, again refers to the texture), with the addition of a little yeast. The yeast in these early cakes could result in an uneven rise, remedied by the baker 'docking' or pricking the surface of the cake. Some modern biscuits have kept these pricked holes as decoration. Short cakes were eaten across Britain, and many local biscuits (i.e. Shrewsbury cakes, or Goosnargh cakes) are variations on the basic recipe. Shortbread, however, has a definite association with Scotland, and the best of its type has long been an export to the rest of the country, and to the rest of the world.
A scone is a kind of bread that is usually shaped into triangles and baked on a griddle or sheet. Scones are very small, and are in the same group as the crumpet or muffin. It is made of wheat, barley, or oatmeal and baking powder to make it rise. The scone is shaped closely like the North American biscuit, and its recipe is almost the same with it as well. In the UK, scones may have raisins, currants, cheese, or dates in them. In the United States, however, scones include more sweet kind of fillings like cranberries, chocolate chips, or nuts. It is generally thought that scones are best eaten when they are very hot and freshly baked right from the oven, accompanied with melting warm butter.