Maple Shortbread

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Maple Shortbread

star rating (5) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This is our local (Vermont) version of an old British favorite.

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) Baker's Special or granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 3/4 ounces) pure granulated maple sugar OR 1/2 cup maple-flavored sugar
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional, for increased maple flavor)

In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with a mixer or, preferably, by hand. Add the flour and blend till the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. To shape, roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, press with a cookie stamp (or the bottom of a glass) and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Or form the dough into a long roll, 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, cover with parchment paper and freeze till very firm. When ready to bake, slice into cookies NO THINNER than 1/4-inch and prick each cookie twice with a fork. Bake on ungreased baking sheets in a preheated 300°F oven for about 20 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully -- when the bottoms are a light sand color, remove them immediately and cool completely on wire racks.

Store the cookies in tins lined with waxed or parchment paper. You'll find that shortbread improves with a little age.

Note: You can also bake the shortbread in stoneware shortbread pans, or two 9" round cake pans. Press shortbread dough into the pans, and bake in a preheated 325°F oven for about 35 minutes, till shortbread is a very light golden brown. Remove from the oven, turn out of the pans, and cut into wedges or squares.


  • star rating 11/16/2014
  • Sonya from San Diego, CA
  • Classic buttery flaky shortbread - yummy!! This is SOOOOO good if you like shortbread! I did add 1/2 tsp salt as recommended by the other reviewers, since both of the other King Arthur Flour maple shortbread recipes call for some salt. The maple flavor is more mild than Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies (also on this website), but they are so yummy that I love them equally! Will definitely be making these again!
  • star rating 12/14/2013
  • debkane from KAF Community
  • To be fair, I ALWAYS follow a recipe as is first time around. With the expense of pure maple sugar, I wish I had followed my instinct and added salt to this recipe. By themselves, the cookies were okay. I ended up adding a cream cheese glaze with a little added salt. It helped a lot! I love all kinds of shortbread, but without the salt these were lacking. One other reviewer noticed no salt and added it first time around. Smart decision on their part.
    Thanks for adding your suggestion about the ingredient salt. The most important part of your review is that you make the recipe as written the first test drive out so you can see if adjustments need to be made. This helps you drive toward the recipe that's just right for you and your family. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 11/18/2013
  • Marliss from Lubbock, TX
  • My rating reflects that I added 1/2 tsp of salt to the recipe. I did contact the King Arthur people to see if the salt had been accidentally omitted but was told the recipe appears never to have included it. I did not use any maple flavoring. These are nice light cookies. I did need to bake mine an additional 5 min. I tried rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter with a design, but the dough is too soft for that to work well, even with chilling it. I'll stick to forming into balls and flattening with a cookie stamp.
  • star rating 02/08/2010
  • Janet H. from Reading, PA
  • Tasted great with good maple flavor and perfectly crunchy texture. Perfect in winter with a cup of tea. I miss Vermont!
  • star rating 12/29/2008
  • Jen from Wisconsin
  • These cookies turned out perfect! The dough was easy to work with and the cookies tasted wonderful! They were my nieces' favorite this Christmas and mine too!

    What I love about these cookies is you can make the dough, press it into a parchment lined cake pan and freeze until needed. Around the holidays, this can be really helpful. I then bake them directly out of the freezer. Let cool about 5 minutes before unmolding and then slice into wedges. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. The wedge shape looks fabulous with a variety of cookies on a platter. Elisabeth from KAF