Earlier this year when my parents came to visit we went to Hamilton, Ontario to enjoy a tour of Dundurn Castle among other things such as the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Easiest Shortbread Cookies – Dundurn Castle
Dundurn Castle is considered a National Historic Site in Canada, which gets thousands of visitors yearly.
I thought it would be a great place to tour along with the Hamilton Military Museum on the grounds.
The great part about the museum is you get to dress up in clothes from that era, so you get a feel for what it was like.
When you first walk through the doors of Dundurn Castle, you enter at the side where the workers would come and go.
It certainly is an eerie feeling, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt like eyes were watching me.
You just feel that the house is haunted or you start to envision what happened when the castle was up and running.
If you live in the Hamilton area, you may notice many couples choose to hold their wedding on the grounds of Dundurn Castle and have their photographs taken on the grounds.
The Dundurn Castle Tour
If you’ve never been able to tour this 72-room mansion now owned by the City of Hamilton.
The city purchased the mansion in 1900 for $50,000 and has spent over 3 million dollars renovating 42 of the 72 rooms you should.
I was able to score buy 1 get 1 free printable coupons online so the tour only costs us $11 each, which was superb for what we got to see.
Dundurn Castle not only does it have 72 rooms, but it is also 18,000 square feet which took a whopping 3 years to build for a price tag of $175,000 in 1835.
McNab purchased the home from Richard Beasley and built Dundurn Castle around the brick home he purchased.
You can see exactly what was done if you visit the castle.
Since the city has restored most of the rooms to 1855, they now offer civic tours of the regency mansion once owned by Sir Allan Napier McNab.
Dundurn Castle was considered the place for entertainment in its heyday and has served such high-ranking guests as Sir John A. Macdonald and King Edward VII.
After 1 hour of hearing some in-depth history of the Dundurn Castle, one pit stop was in the kitchen on the mansion’s lower level.
It will blow your mind away when you see how things were done but apparently, McNab treated his workers well.
Dundurn Castle Shortbread Cookies
In the kitchen, we sampled the best shortbread cookies we had ever tasted.
You could see the layers of golden butter which you will see once you make this recipe.
Luckily, I was able to get a copy of the recipe to make the shortbread cookies at home.
I decided to make Dundurn shortbread cookies this past week, which did not disappoint us.
The shortbread was easy to make and best of all it took us back to the moment at the castle.
Comparing Dundurn Castle Shortbread Recipes
I did find one recipe online for this Scottish shortbread cookie.
The only difference in recipes was the ratio of ingredients as I cut the recipe in half.
When the recipe stated it needed 2 egg yolks, 1lb of butter, and 4 cups of flour, I knew I would make many shortbread cookies.
I didn’t want to mess this recipe up since butter and flour aren’t cheap ingredients.
However, I suppose the large recipe amounts make sense for the tourists visiting the castle.
My idea was to replicate that chunky shortbread experience instead of a flat cookie.
Finally, I decided to follow the suggestion of the online recipe to pinch the rounds and make triangle shortbread cookies as I remember in the UK.
They look beautiful on a dish for tea time or just to grab and go for a snack.
The Perfect Dundurn Castle Shortbread Cookies
I also poked the rounds with a fork as suggested in the recipe which gives them that traditional look.
It took me 10 minutes to get the shortbread batter mixed and off to the baking sheet.
I created 3 rounds with the cookie dough and pinched around them like a pie crust.
When the shortbread cookies bake in the oven, they rise and become golden brown.
You don’t want to burn or over-bake them so you want to watch them closely.
I treat shortbread cookies like my snowball cookies when baking…lots of love.
When you remove them from the oven, let them rest before you cut triangles from the rounds like a pizza.
Cookies continue to bake on the baking sheet, so don’t bake them until they are too dark.
Dundurn Castle The Best Shortbread Cookie Recipe
- Recipe Type: Dessert
- Author: Mr.CBB
- Prep time: 10 mins
- Cook time: 30 mins
- Total time: 40 mins
- Serves: 24
This time of year is lovely on the grounds at the Dundurn Castle, and the staff offers shortbread cookies to their guests when they reach the lower-level kitchen on their tour.
- 1 cup cold butter cubed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 cups of flour
- In a blender, add the butter, sugar, and mix.
- Add in the salt and egg yolk and mix until combined
- Slowly add the flour until it is combined with the rest of the dough.
- Once combined, turn onto a lightly dusted flour surface.
- Knead just until soft so you can divide the dough. Add more flour if needed.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal flat rounds and poke the top with holes with a fork.
- Bake on an un-greased non-stick baking sheet at 325 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Depending on your oven, they may cook faster, so don’t leave them alone; they will bake fast.
- Remove from oven and when cool, cut the 3 large cookies into triangles and let cool further or enjoy with a cuppa tea.
The best shortbread cookie I’ve made, compliments of Dundurn Castle and the cooking crew.
I will be making these shortbread cookies over and over again.
Thanks to the Dundurn Castle for an amazing tour and these lovely shortbread cookies.
We had an excellent time at Dundurn Castle and recommend the tour to everyone.
Discussion: Do you bake homemade shortbread cookies?
Please leave me a comment below and tell me your favourite cookies.