Classic Shortbread Recipe

Classic Shortbread

I was cleaning out the cupboards yesterday and found a beautiful ShortBread mold that I had purchased years ago but never used.   I was looking for a fun Christmas food project to do this year and this was a perfect candidate.  The shortbread cookies were easy to make (with only four ingredients that every kitchen has on hand) and came out looking fantastic and tasting buttery and flaky.   This would also  make a great holiday project to do with kids.

Note that the recipe says to use butter at room temperature.  I’ve been watching Christopher Kimball’s America’s Test Kitchen for a while now and love the chemistry details that he goes into on the show.  His chef’s would definitely say not to skip this step.

Classic Shortbread Recipe

  • 1/2 c butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 c powdered sugar – unsifted
  • 1/4 t. vanilla
  • 1 c flour – unsifted

Cream the butter until it is light.  Cream in the powdered sugar, then the vanilla.  Now work in the flour.  Knead the dough on an unfloured board until nice and smooth.  Spray the shortbread pan very lightly with a non-stick vegetable oil spray.  Firmly press the dough into the shortbread pan.  Prick the entire surface with a fork, and bake the shortbread right in the pan at 325 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until very lightly browned.  Let the shortbread cool in its pan for about 10 minutes before you loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a wooden cutting board.  If the shortbread does not come right out, tap one edge of the pan.  Cut the shortbread into serving pieces while it is still warm.

My Shortbread Pan with Thistles

Creaming the Butter and Adding Vanilla

After Incorporating the Flour

After Kneading to Make Smooth

Poking with a Fork to Eliminate Bubbles

After Removing from Pan Before Cutting

Closeup of Thistle Pattern


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