Shortbread Cookie

Everyone Needs Shortbread In Their Lives

Shortbread. I don’t get the name. It’s not bread, it’s a cookie! But nomenclatures aside, they’re freakin’ delicious.

I’ve always enjoyed when Christmas rolled around and store shelves would be filled with boxes of little shortbread fingers. Probably the best thing to come out of Scotland, right after bagpipes.

But let’s be real for a minute. While the mass-produced store-bought shortbread cookies are okay, they are NOT anywhere near as amazing as the tender melt-in-your-mouth shortbreads that come out of the oven at home. Not even close.

The great news is they’re really quite easy to make! Heck, you can make this dough ahead on the weekend, leave it in the fridge, and pop it in the oven after work for an evening treat!

Personally, there’s a reason I don’t make it super often. I don’t have the willpower to leave them alone if they are in my presence. But it’s Christmas, so damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!!

I like the size of the two-inch square block I make, but if you’re doing these for a dainty tray, or to take to work and share with appreciative co-workers, you may want to cut the block in half and do 1×2″ ‘fingers’ instead. If they’re just for us at home, the squares are awesome. And if you make smaller cookies, you may want to adjust your bake time … smaller things cook more quickly!

Enough of the blah blah blah … on with the recipe!

Tender Tasty Shortbread

Slightly sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness! That's what you get from these easy to make shortbread cookies that take just four simple ingredients.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Keyword: butter, cookies, flour, icing sugar, shortbread, vanilla
Servings: 12 cookies
Author: Chris Pollard

Equipment

  • Stand mixer (bowl, paddle)
  • Kitchen scale (optional)
  • Measuring cups
  • Rubber spatula

Ingredients

  • 145 grams salted butter (⅔ cup)
  • ½ cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 splash vanilla extract (½-1 teaspoon, I don't measure vanilla, ever)
  • 185 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 ⅓ to 1 ½ cups)

Instructions

  • Beat butter and vanilla in stand mixer until creamed. Give it a couple of minutes to make it nice and fluffy. I like to start at slower speed, kick it up to medium-high once it's starting to cream, then back down to medium-low for a bit at the end.
  • SLOWLY add the icing sugar, while mixing on low speed, (If using unsalted butter, add the salt here too.)
  • Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • While mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour.
  • Scrape the bowl down to get the flour off the sides and any that sits in the bottom.
  • Mix on low speed again until everything is combined. It will go from a coarse crumb to more of a solid lump. You'll see the change.
  • Put some plastic wrap down on a flat surface and scrape your dough onto it.
  • Give the dough a bit of a squeeze to form a long square block. I used the edge of a clever to press flat-ish edges. It ended up about 2 inches square and about 6 inches long.
  • Wrap your block of dough in the plastic wrap and chill until it's firm. I did 15 minutes in the freezer and another 45 in the fridge.
  • When the dough is chilled, pre-heat your oven to 350°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap your dough and cut into 12 equal slices with a sharp knife. (About ½" each)
  • Place your cookie slices on the parchment, equally spaced.
  • With a toothpick or skewer (see notes about stamping designs too), poke any pattern you want into the tops of the cookies. I mean, okay, you don't have to, but why not? This is fun stuff!
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Rotate your baking sheet and bake for 5 additional minutes.
  • They are ready when the BOTTOMS of the cookies are just starting to turn golden. If you cook them longer, you'll end up with a harder cookie. Some people prefer that. You do you.
  • Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
    Shortbread Cookie
  • Pop 'em in your mouth and feel them melt away!

Notes

If using unsalted butter (which you totally can), add about a half teaspoon of salt when mixing in the icing sugar.
Kids … ah, heck, even adults … may also enjoy using stamps to press shapes/designs/pattersn into the tops of the shortbread cookies. The impressions are retained very well.

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