Value for Money: shortbread

Buttering up: from biscuits in a musical tin to Christmas-tree and star shaped cookies

 

Marks and Spencer Shortbread Musical Shortbread Tin

€7.50 for 250g, €30 per kg

The selling point of this shortbread is that it comes in a “rotating bauble musical tin” which is as much fun as it sounds. You wind it up and it plays Jingle Bells in an initially upbeat manner which becomes more mournful as the tempo slows to an isolated chime here and there before eventually falling silent.

We’re not sure we need our biscuit tins to behave in such a fashion and we’re not sure €30 a kilo is good value. The shortbread swirls are nice though – although not as Scottish as we would expect from Marks & Spencer.

And while the musicality of the box drew glares from colleagues as we tested this product, we suppose it might give it a life after the biscuits have been eaten and it does make for a fancy present.

Verdict: Shortbread with razzmatazz

Star rating: * * *

Kerrygold Butter Shortbread

€2.99 for 225g, €13.28 per kg

Sorry, what is this? Shortbread made by butter people? Yes, that is exactly what it is and the world is the better for it. The round biscuits are incredibly buttery, as you might well expect, and they are wonderfully salty and have a slightly cruncher texture than you will find in some others.

They are not as dense as traditional Scottish shortbread and, while purists might disprove, we were impressed. Admittedly, given how the shortbread is presented, you will feel as if you are buying and then eating a pound of butter which is not an effect that is ever to be desired even if it is pretty close to the truth.

Verdict: We loved them

Star rating: * * * *

Irish All Butter Shortbread from Dunnes Stores

€2.99 for 200g, €14.95 per kg

We are pretty sure that last time we tasted shortbread from Dunnes we loved it and we fully expected to love it this time too. Maybe it was because the competition had changed or maybe the company has tweaked its Simply Better shortbread recipe or maybe we were in bad form but, for whatever reason, we didn’t like this shortbread as much as we thought we would. It seemed a little bit greasy for us and the insane crumbliness caught us off guard too. They are by no means bad and some people will probably love them but they didn’t really do it for us this time.

Verdict: Disappointing

Star rating: * *

Walkers Festive Shapes

€6 for €350g, €17.14 per kg

The most exciting thing about these – and we use the word “exciting” very loosely – is the fact that they come in festive shapes. There’s Santa and a Christmas tree and a star and . . . well you get the picture. The next thing of note is the brand and the provenance. Walkers are probably the most well known shortbread makers in the world – certainly they are they only shortbread makers we could even come close to naming. They are pleasingly traditional in the sense they are less biscuity than the Irish rivals we reviewed. At €6 for a 350g box we can’t help but wonder how much we are being asked to pay for the festive shapes.

Verdict: Pretty good

Star rating: * * *

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