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I got myself on a shortbread kick this month!  I just have to share. The shortbread cookie: it's pretty much half sugar cookie and...

Simple Shortbread

10:06 AM , , , ,


I got myself on a shortbread kick this month! 
I just have to share.

The shortbread cookie: it's pretty much half sugar cookie and half pie crust, I've decided. When made right, it's a buttery, flaky little pastry that is awesome to have with coffee, and sort of melts in your mouth when you eat it. Sounds good right? Lucky for us, it's easy to make right. Just a few simple ingredients sitting around everyone's kitchen.
It all started when I thrifted one of these gorgeous Brown Bag shortbread molds for just $5 at Goodwill, new in the box, it was just so pretty that I couldn't leave it behind. {Note: you don't need one of these pans to make delicious shortbread.}
So, to validate this purchase, I had to start making shortbread at home. Again, you don't NEED a special pan like this to make shortbread, you can just as easily use a round pie or tart pan and cut the baked shortbread into wedges. Some people even use no pan and just shape the dough into a flat circle. But, I will say, the Brown Bag shortbread pans make for gorgeous shortbread cookies! I was fortunate to thrift one unused.

Shortbread is seriously the easiest pastry/cookie to make. Ever.
First you cream 1/2 cup butter {room temperature}.
Then you simply add 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1 cup flour. Mix together until you get this, a soft play-doh like dough. {Warning: don't eat the dough. Because if you're like me, and you like sugar cookie dough and pie crust dough, you'll be in big trouble if you give THIS dough a try. Mmm...vanilla flavored sweetened butter. See what I mean? Dangerous.}
You want to spray your mold or pan with cooking spray, lightly, then start working your dough into the pan. Just dump it and push it around to spread it.
It's best to get the dough as smooth as possible!
I've also made a chocolate shortbread by adding 1.5T cocoa powder, but honestly I didn't like the chocolate shortbread nearly as much. Despite being a chocolate lover, I guess you could say I'm a shortbread purist. There are other recipes out there though that I'd like to try, like a spiced shortbread or lemon shortbread. Yum!
Once your shortbread dough is nicely patted down into the pan, you want to prick the surface liberally with a dork. Lol, I mean fork.
Now it's simply a matter of baking your shortbread for about 30 minutes at 325°
You want to remove it from the oven just as the edges start to turn golden brown, don't let the edges get dark! Then let it sit and cool for about 10 minutes before carefully turning it over onto a flat cutting surface. Immediately cut your shortbread, if you wait too long and let it cool too much then it will crumble a lot more as you cut it.
It's such a simple, buttery treat to have with coffee or tea. I need to try dipping some in chocolate now, as I've seen done by others.
It's hard to go wrong with shortbread. If you don't have a special shortbread pan like mine, the pricked side makes for a good traditional shortbread look too.
Admit it, you want some, don't you? And a Pyrex full of fresh homemade shortbread would make a lovely {cheap! easy!} hostess gift, don't you think?
And I'm sorry Girl Scouts, but homemade shortbread is so much better than your short bread cookies that you peddle to us once a year.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar, unsifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour, unsifted

Cream butter until it is light. Mix in the powdered sugar, then the vanilla. Now work in the flour. Mix the dough until nice and smooth, it should be the consistency of play dough. Spray the shortbread pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press the dough into the shortbread pan. Prick the entire surface with a fork, and bake the shortbread at 325° for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until edges are golden.

Let the shortbread cool in its pan for about ten minutes before you loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a cutting surface. If the shortbread does not come right out, tap one edge of the pan. Immediately cut the shortbread into serving pieces while still warm. 

Thanks for visiting, let me know if you try some shortbread, tell me how you like it!


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  1. Okay, three things....

    First, I AM TOTALLY PINNING THIS!!! (sorry for the shouting but I'm really excited to try this)

    Second, I am on the lookout for my very own shortbread mold. I may even have to buck up and pay the big price for it. I'm not patient enough to track one down thrifting although that would be amazing.

    And third, Your pictures are always so amazing and I think we have the same Nikon camera (D3100). Any good websites you could steer me toward or tips you would like to share regarding settings?

    Thanks, Heather!


    1. Erica! You're always so sweet to me :)

      I'll keep an eye out for another shortbread pan too! It was a fun find, there have to be more out there at thrift stores.

      Yes I have a D3100, I love it! Thanks for saying my photos look good :) I honestly wish I wasn't so brain dead on the left side so that I could understand the camera settings better. I'm still not sure what ISO is...but I usually shoot on automatic setting with no flash in the best daylight I can get (our house is dark) with this lens--I ADORE this lens:

      That's my only advice :)

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  2. Oh wow! Those look so yummy! While I know I'm not supposed to judge a cookie by it's cover, its hard not to with these. They really are so pretty!
    Do you take your altitude into consideration when baking? Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Not sure if it matters most of the time.
    I use a D3100 too! It's a fabulous camera. ISO is just a film speed thing, not really anything one needs to worry about when taking indoor stills. I'm trained to use a regular old SLR Nikon that is comparable to our current digital one. With all that knowledge I have, I still shoot on automatic with no flash most of the time! It's so easy when you're trying to do 50 things at once.
    I'm going to have to check out that lens.

    1. Melissa, I know exactly what you mean! I definitely use high altitude recipe adjustments for cookies, but everything else it depends. I didn't do anything special for shortbread, it's a pretty dense cookie and the recipe seems foolproof.

      The D3100 is a popular camera! Definitely check out that lens. I want another one that has a wider range of something (see, I'm stupid), but it's about $800 so that will take me a while to save up :-/

      Thanks for the comment Melissa!

  3. Haha! 'to validate the purchase'. I feel like I'm doing that all the time with my husband, "trust me, I NEED this!" :) Those look delicious- much better than girl scouts.

    1. Exactly! See, you get it ;-)

      Thanks for the kind comment, Lena!

    2. I love eating shortbread but have yet to make it myself. I will have to try this recipe. It doesn't seem as intimidating as I thought. I used to own a few of the brown bag shortbread molds and ended up getting rid of them. Dang! Now I wish I hadn't have done that. :)


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