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Grandma Heather Cubie’s Shortbread & Iced Biscuits

“This recipe is great fun to make – whether or not you have help from your grandchildren! ”

Heather Cubie, Chair, Scotland Malawi partnership 

Professor Heather Cubie MBE, is a retired Consultant Clinical Scientist with an Honorary Chair in the University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and a Senior Advisor to The Global Health Academy – but we know her because she is the Chair of the Board of the Scotland Malawi Partnership with a long-term clinical involvement in Malawi.

The SMP is a national civil society network coordinating supporting and representing the people-to-people links between Scotland and Malawi. 

Heather has been instrumental in the establishment of a sustainable “see and treat” cervical screening service, initially in Nkhoma Hospital and now across all three regions.  The introduction of thermal ablation for treatment of early lesions, which came from Scottish experience, was accepted by the Malawian Ministry of Health and is now recommended by WHO as appropriate for LMIC.

But Heather is also grandma to Indy and Roar and here she is baking with them on Zoom!

Grandma Heather’s Shortbread & Iced Biscuits


Ingredients (makes approx. 20-24 pieces)

12 oz flour (approx. 8 oz plain flour, 2oz cornflour and 2 oz semolina or ground rice)

4 oz caster sugar

1 x 8 oz block of salted butter


  1. Using the butter straight from the fridge, cut into 0.5 inch cubes. Rub butter into flour mixture until it is like fine breadcrumbs. Add sugar and mix, then squeeze dough together till it begins to bind.
  2. Grease a swiss roll tin and then sprinkle a little flour over it, tip from side to side until whole base is covered. Press the shortbread mixture into the tin, using back of hand or palette knife until thoroughly bound together with a flat surface. Prick all over with a fork.
  3. Place in middle of a hot oven (gas mark 6 or 200 degrees C) for 20-25mins until a golden brown. Remove tray from oven and cut into squares or fingers. You should get 20-24 pieces from this mixture. Sprinkle more caster sugar over top, give tray a shake to even this out and separate the pieces, then leave in tray until cool enough to lift out without breaking onto a wire rack and leave until cold.


Iced Biscuits

Ingredients (makes approx. 20 biscuits)

175g margarine

50g golden caster sugar

50g icing sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp ground mixed spice

300g plain flour


  1. Beat the margarine and sugars until creamy.
  2. Beat in the egg and then mix in the flour and spice to form a firm dough.
  3. Roll out the dough and then stamp out biscuit shapes using biscuit cutter
  4. Place the shapes on a baking tin and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C or gas mark 4 for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack until cold.
  6. Decorate as you wish!
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