A customized print-friendly version of this recipe is available by clicking the "Print Recipe" button on this page.

Shortbread

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: PJ Hamel

Shortbread Recipe Shortbread Recipe

Shortbread is a wonderful starting point for all kinds of sweet adventures: top it (nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (lemon, hazelnut, coconut); or do both (cappuccino with a mocha ganache drizzle, anyone?). Then again, if you're a "make mine vanilla, please" kind of guy or gal, leave it alone; it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity.

Our guarantee: This light-gold, crisp/flaky shortbread is buttery and mildly sweet. It will be about 1/4" thick.

Read our blog about shortbread, with additional photos, at Flourish.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
2 dozen shortbread wedges
Nutrition information

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature*
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional, or the flavor of your choice; eggnog flavor makes a delicious holiday shortbread
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • *Since butter is such a critical element in these cookies, we recommend you use a top-quality butter. Our test-kitchen choice is Cabot.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two round 9" cake pans. If you worry about the shortbread possibly sticking in your particular pans, line them with parchment, and grease the parchment.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, then beat in the flour. The mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating till it comes together. If it absolutely won't come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water, until it does. This is a stiff dough.
  3. Divide the dough in half (if you have a scale, each half will weigh about 10 1/2 ounces), and press each half into one of the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with your fingers, or with a mini rolling pin.
  4. Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes. Prick the dough in a random pattern, but it looks nicer pricked with some kind of symmetry.
  5. Bake the shortbread until it's a light golden brown across the top surface, and a deeper golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn each shortbread round out onto a clean work surface.
  7. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut each round into 12 wedges. (Do this while the shortbread is still warm; if you wait until it's cool, it won't cut easily.) Transfer the shortbread wedges to a rack to cool.
  8. Serve as is, or decorate. Here are a few suggestions:
    Drizzle with melted caramel;
    Spread with melted chocolate, and sprinkle with nuts;
    Set aside two shortbread cookies, and spread the remainder of the cookies with a thick layer of jam or preserves. Crumble the reserved cookies, and sprinkle the crumbs lightly over the jam.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 wedge (25g)
  • Servings Per Batch 24
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 120
  • Calories from Fat 70
  • Total Fat 8g
  • Saturated Fat 5g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 20mg
  • Sodium 55mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 12g
  • Dietary Fiber 0g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 1g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.