Classic Shortbread Recipe
This classic shortbread recipe follows the time-honored
ratio for this cookie’s traditional three key ingredients: one part sugar, two
parts butter, and three parts white flour. A touch of vanilla is customary in
this timeless recipe.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake time: 45-55 minutes
Makes about 5 - 6 dozen slices of shortbread, ¾ inch x 1
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a food processor using a steel blade, place flour, salt,
and powdered sugar, pulsing a few times to combine.
- Add vanilla and water. Pulse a few times.
- Cut in butter. Pulse ingredients together just until dough
- Press dough evenly into an ungreased 13 x 9 baking pan. If shortbread dough sticks to your fingers
when you’re pressing it into the pan, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap.
Press the dough through the wrap, spreading it evenly. Remove the wrap.
- Use the heel of your hand to smooth the surface. With a
fork, prick the shortbread.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until shortbread edges begin to
brown. Remove the pan from the oven.
- While shortbread is still hot, use a sharp knife to slice it
into thin bars, ¾ inch by 1 ½ inches.
- Let shortbread cool completely. Use a spatula to remove cooled
bars from the pan.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.
A Special Tip from
Always use butter when baking this classic shortbread. The high butter
content in shortbread produces the cookie’s crumbly texture. Fat
inhibits gluten, a protein in wheat, which allows dough to rise. Gluten gives
dough a chewy texture. Higher fat content slows down gluten. Its protein
strands are then shorter, rather than longer, producing a more crumbly texture
rather than a chewy one.
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