Recipe: Shortbread Cookies

Earlier today, I texted my Dad asking for his famous shortbread cookie recipe.  What I got back was two pictures of a random printed page, and I figured it would be helpful to write up for both my own sanity and share here on the blog.  This is the base recipe that I am going to use for my Shortbread Series of Christmas Cookies for this year (click here to access that post!).  I hope to have a follow up post for specific measurements of each flavoring agent used in each recipe listed in the previous post, so more to come on the Christmas cookie adventure!

I knew that this was the recipe I wanted when I came up with my idea for the Shortbread Series.  I’ve had these cookies on several occasions, and they’re always so perfect.  My parents lived in England for three years, and during that time, my Dad picked up a great habit of hosting afternoon teas, during which this shortbread cookie was occasionally featured.  This recipe is so simple, and very buttery.  It produces a cookie that is tender, light, and rich.  I think about this cookie often when I’m making a cup of tea for myself, and I’m very excited to have this recipe be the base of my Christmas cookies this year.

Recipe is below, hopefully these posts will help inspire you to bake up a batch this year!  This recipe is by weight unfortunately, so get out those handy kitchen scales!

Shortbread Cookies:


  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 225g Flour
  • 60g Granulated Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Dice the butter and put into a mixing bowl to soften a little.  Sift over the flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.  Rub together with your fingertips and form the mixture into a ball.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out until it is about ½ inch thick.  Cut into desired shape, either by cutting into strips or squares with a knife or by using cookie cutters to create shapes.
  4. Lay the cookies onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper to prevent sticking.  Prick the surfaces of the cookies all over with a fork.  Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle sugar over the shortbread (if desired) and bake for 8 minutes, or until firm to the touch.  Cool before removing from the baking sheet.
  6. Allow to cool completely on a wire baking rack before adding any additional toppings, such as an icing or a chocolate dip.


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