Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

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  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (about) raspberry jam

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add butter; using your fingertips, rub in butter until coarse meal forms. Whisk egg and yolk in a bowl; add to flour mixture; stir just to blend.

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Measure dough by 2 tablespoonfuls and roll into balls. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 2" apart. Make an indentation in center of each ball; fill each with 1/2 teaspoon jam.

  • Bake cookies until golden, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe by Magnus Nilsson F viken Magasinet J rpen Sweden,

Nutritional Content

One cookie contains: Calories (kcal) 132.4 % Calories from Fat 49.2 Fat (g) 7.2 Saturated Fat (g) 4.3 Cholesterol (mg) 43.9 Carbohydrates (g) 15.6 Dietary Fiber (g) 1.2 Total Sugars (g) 8.2 Net Carbs (g) 14.4 Protein (g) 2.0 Sodium (mg) 72.2Reviews Section

Rich, Buttery Shortbread Cookies Recipe

How to make buttery shortbread cookies with just a few ingredients and no special equipment. Jump to the Shortbread Cookies Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.

We probably don’t need to tell you how wonderful shortbread cookies are. They’re rich, buttery cookies that are simple to make and sturdy enough to be kept for days (if not weeks when chilled). There’s minimal ingredients required and no mixer! Just a bowl and spoon are needed, here.

We use melted butter for our shortbread cookies and go for a long bake time at a low temperature. By baking low and slow, the cookies become addictively delicious. These cookies make ingredients that we already adore, like butter and sugar, absolutely shine.

You May Also Like our Snickerdoodles Cookies, they’re just as simple to make and always fly off the plate. Or, if you’re looking to make these as a gift, take a look at a couple of our popular homemade gifts: Salted Caramels, Heavenly Chocolate Truffles and Salted Chocolate Covered Caramels.

Shortbread Cookies

Cream butter and sugar together. Sift in flour and cornstarch and blend together using a pastry cutter until the ingredients all come together. (If mixture seems excessively dry, cut in 1 more tablespoon of butter&mdashbut only if you really need it.)

Form dough into a big ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Roll onto a lightly floured surface and cut into rounds. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes. Do not allow shortbread to brown the edges should have the faintest golden tinge.
Check your oven sooner if it runs hot.

This is the basis&mdasha Part One, if you will&mdashof so many delectable dessert recipes, some of which we&rsquoll discuss in the next post. Crisp and flavorful, these shortbread-style cookies, while totally delicious in and of themselves, shouldn&rsquot just be eaten alone. They&rsquore meant to be a conduit, a liaison between cream and fruit&hellipor with ice cream&hellipor in any number of other shortbread-type applications.

Note that these aren&rsquot sugar cookies. They have an entirely different texture and flavor.

Make &rsquoem and you&rsquoll see what I mean.

Add 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons softened butter and 1 cup sugar to a bowl.

The best things in life are simple and sweet, which is exactly why we love these shortbread cookie recipes so much. Brought stateside by Scottish immigrants, shortbread cookies (sometimes called biscuit, especially by our friends in the U.K.) are generally made from a combination of all-purpose flour, granulated or confectioner's sugar, and lots of butter. Flavorings such as vanilla or almond extract may be added to the dough, as well as chopped or ground nuts, fresh citrus zest, or cocoa powder. Here, we're sharing our best buttery and flaky shortbread cookie recipes.

While there are many delicious variations worth mastering, you'll want to start with our Classic Shortbread cookie recipe. The process is so simple&mdashcombine all of the ingredients together and mix to form a dough, press into a pan, refrigerate, then bake and enjoy! Whether you eat them on their own or pair them with a cup of tea, there's no mistaking just how good these cookies are.

If you're a chocolate lover, then you'll adore our recipe for Mocha Shortbread a tablespoon of instant espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor. Looking for a subtler chocolate flavor? Try a batch of Oat-and-Spelt Shortbread, which are nutty cookies dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. The balance is just right. For the holidays, why not serve a batch of Meyer-Lemon Shortbread Wreath Cookies? Adorned with sugared thyme and rosemary&mdashas well as red, white, and green sprinkles&mdashthey're the most stunning (and edible) holiday greenery.

Grab a few sticks of butter, cookie cutters or a tart pan, and get baking.

All-Butter Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread is one of the most famous Scottish cookies. It's eaten around Christmas and is also an essential part of Hogmanay, the traditional Scottish New Year. Made with a lot of butter, this was considered a special treat when butter was a luxury item. Thankfully, we can make and eat shortbreads more often, and enjoy their crumbly and buttery texture all year round.

The success of what's known in Scotland as a "shortie" depends on handling the dough with care and working it as little as possible—cold butter, cold work surface, cold hands, and no pounding or heavy kneading help achieve the perfect texture for the dough. When overworked, the dough becomes a greasy mess, the gluten in the flour will develop, the butter will melt, and the crumb will be either too chewy or too tough. A successful shortbread should be light and crumbly, with a dense, buttery taste.

The term "short" refers to the crumbly texture of the cookies afforded by the high fat content. Standard recipes have few ingredients, and the addition of cornstarch depends on the tradition each home cook follows. Some swear by the use of it, like us, but some prefer to leave it out. Adding it has been done for decades and helps to make the shortbread crisper on the edges and softer in the center. Because there are just five ingredients, the quality of each one is vital for a successful cookie, and using the best butter you can find is very important.

Our main recipe shows you how to shape these delicious treats before baking, but you can learn how to do it once the shortbread is cooked in the recipe variations. For storing either version of the shortbread, chose an airtight container and keep it in a cold place for a week, or 10 days in the fridge.


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 person, leave it alone it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity.


  • 16 tablespoons (227g) salted butter, at cool room temperature*
  • 1 cup (113g) 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 (241g) 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.


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.

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.

Divide the dough in half (if you have a scale, each half will weigh about 300g), and press each half into one of the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with your fingers, or with a mini rolling pin.

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.

Take it a step further

How to make brown butter

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.

Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn each shortbread round out onto a clean work surface.

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.

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.

Tips from our Bakers

Looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe? Find it here: Gluten-Free Shortbread.

Vary the flavor of your shortbread with the following simple additions.
For ginger shortbread: Add 1/3 cup finely diced crystallized ginger and 1 teaspoon ginger.
For butter-pecan shortbread: Add 1/8 teaspoon butter-rum flavor and 1 cup finely diced toasted pecans.
For chai-spiced shortbread: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom, and 1/8 teaspoon cloves.

To give your shortbread festive flavor for the holidays, omit the almond extract and add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon eggnog flavor and a pinch of grated nutmeg to the dough.

Shortbread Cookies

Store-bought shortbread from a holiday cookie tin are very good. But homemade is even better. Luckily they're even easier to make than chocolate chip cookies. And they're perfect for dipping in coffee or hot chocolate.

Our classic recipe is great as is, but one of the best parts about shortbread is that you can infinitely adapt it. Feel free to use our basic formula as a base and take if from there. Here are just a few fun variations to try out.

Add about 1 tablespoon of lemon or orange (or both!) zest to the dough with your butter to make a slightly tart cookie

Leave out the vanilla and trade the sugar for grated Parmesan and add some freshly cracked black pepper. It makes a delicious appetizer or snack!

Instead of vanilla extract use 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. If you want some crunch, add 1/4 cup of finely chopped almonds or pecans crunch too!

Replace 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder for the chocolate lovers in your life.

Editor's Note: This recipe was tested and updated on September 10, 2020 after noticing comments about the cookies not being sweet enough.

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies

If you've never baked gluten-free, these cookies are a great treat to help you get your feet wet. The dough is easily stirred together by hand in just a couple of minutes and guarantees a tender, crisp, buttery cookie. See our baker's tips at the bottom of the recipe for flavor options that range from chocolate-pistachio to cranberry-orange (and more!).


  • 1 cup (96g) almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons (21g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or prepared an ungreased cookie sheet.

Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl until a cohesive dough forms.

Scoop 1" balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet a teaspoon cookie scoop works well here. Arrange the balls of dough about 1 1/2" to 2" apart.

Use a fork to flatten each cookie to about 1/4" thick, making a crosshatch design.

Take it a step further

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies, three ways

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until they start to turn light golden brown on top.

Remove the cookies from the oven. If you've used parchment, allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

If you've baked the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, transfer them to a rack about 2 to 3 minutes after they come out of the oven they'll still be warm and fairly fragile. If left to cool on the ungreased pan too long, they'll stick.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

Be aware: some of your baking ingredients can be a hidden source of gluten. Learn more at our blog post: For gluten-free baking, think beyond just flour. For additional information on King Arthur-produced products, read the complete details of our allergen program, including our contact-prevention practices.

For Thumbprint Cookies: Instead of creating a crosshatch design with a fork, use your thumb to press an indentation into the center of each ball of dough. Fill the hole with about 1/4 teaspoon jam. Note: too much jam will boil out during baking.

For Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies: Substitute 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder for 2 tablespoons of the almond flour and add 1/8 teaspoon espresso powder. Stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios. Shape the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or bake as directed above.

For Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Cookies: Add 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (grated orange rind) and 1/4 cup dried cranberries to the dough. Shape the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or bake as directed above.

For Maple Pecan Shortbread Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and 1/3 cup diced pecans to the dough. Shape the dough into a log, chill, slice, and bake or bake as directed above.

Why is it called shortbread?

These cookies are called Shortbread because the term “short” is used to describe cookies and pastries with a tender, crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture. The same terminology is used for shortcrust pastries used in things like Quiche and Pecan Pie.

It’s considered an art to achieve this buttery delicate texture – but it’s actually REALLY EASY!

The Best Keto Shortbread Cookies Recipe



  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered monkfruit erythritol sweetener (For this recipe I actually love using 6 tbsp Swerve and 2 tbsp Truvia as well)
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 168g
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, 56g
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch, 8g (or cornstarch is OK if you don't have it)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt (1/4 tsp if using unsalted butter)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325*F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together your butter and sweetener until light and fluffy. Add your extracts and beat once more until combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients including almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum and salt.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir well until the dough becomes thick and everything is incorporated together.
  5. Form your dough into a circle and then roll out between two sheets of parchment paper to the thickness you want your cookies (they won't change in much in the oven).
  6. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the edges of the dough to form an even rectangle then cut smaller rectangles from the large one. (I cut my rectangles about 2 1/2 inches in length and 1 1/4 inches in width).
  7. Re-roll any dough scraps and repeat the process until all of the dough is used up. Place the formed rectangles on parchment-lined baking sheets and gently poke holes twice in each shortbread cookie using a fork.
  8. Bake the cookies for 10-12min or until they are just very lightly browned around the edges.
  9. Cool the cookies completely on their baking sheets before attempting to lift them. Enjoy The Best Keto Shortbread Cookies!

*You can store these on the counter in an airtight container between layers of wax or parchment paper for up to 5 days OR place them in the freezer to keep them longer*.

Nutrition For 1 Cookie: 140 calories | 13.4g fat | 1.5g NET carbs | 2.1g fibre