Completely irresistible, these Shortbread Cookies are subtlety sweet and gloriously buttery with a perfect tender crunch.  Divinely delicious as they are or enhance with your favorite flavors!

How to make Perfect Shortbread Cookies- buttery, crisp and divinely delicious, easily made with just a few simple ingredients.

Hands down, Shortbread Cookies are definitely my favorite cookie.  The ingredients are so simple and the result is just pure magic.  Perfect buttery dense crumbly goodness.  The last batch I made, I tucked away in the freezer thinking this would keep them safe from me, turns out frozen shortbread is pretty delicious!😉

A balance of crunchy texture, a hint of sweet and a touch of salt.  Amazing just like they are or use as a perfect base ready for spices, fresh herbs, citrus zest, nuts and extracts.

For Shortbread Cookies to be good the texture has to be right, it needs to be flakey and crisp all the way through.  The key here to bake in a low temperate oven and use rice flour!  Rice flour inhibits the development of gluten and adds to the texture, ensuring that your cookie will have a crisp texture all the way through.

How to make Perfect Shortbread Cookies- buttery, crisp and divinely delicious, easily made with just a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients in Shortbread Cookies

  • unsalted butter
  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • rice flour
  • sea salt

Expert tips

  1. Bake low and slow.  It takes a little time for the cookies to develop that sandy flakey texture all the way through.
  2. Don’t over mix the dough.  We don’t want to develop any of the gluten which would mess with the texture.
  3. Don’t skip the rice flour.  This helps assure the perfect texture we want!

ingredients in perfect shortbread cookies

How to make Perfect Shortbread Cookies

Step one

Cream together softened butter and sugar about 2 minutes in a stand mixer until just smooth.  Use good unsalted butter!

butter and sugar in stand mixer

Step two

Scrape down the sides.  Add vanilla extract.  Mix another few seconds to incorporate.

whipped butter

Step three

Add all-purpose flour, rice flour and salt.  Add any flavorings at this time.

Mix on medium speed just until the dough comes together, and starts to pull away from the bowl.

Adjust the salt here to your taste.  Himalayan sea salt is such a lovely compliment.

shortbread sough pulling away from the edges

Step four

Scrape the dough out and pat it into a flattened square.  Roll as evenly as you can to 1/2″ thickness.

rolled out and trimmed cookie dough

Step five

Trim the edges (if you care about them being even) and cut into approximately 1 x 2- 3 inch strips.

cutting the shortbread into finger shapes

Step six

Carefully space out on a sheet pan, easiest to use a metal spatula for this.  Score with a fork if desired.

Chill the entire tray of cookies for 15 minutes in refrigerator, or place in the freezer for 5 minutes.

scoring the shortbread cookies before baking

Step seven

Place the cold tray of cookies in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let rest on the tray a few minutes after removing from oven and move to a cooling rack.  The shortbread will crisp up as they cool.

baked shortbread cookies

To Store Shortbread Cookies

Make sure cookies are completely cool.  Store in a covered container for up to two weeks at room temperature. Freeze up to 3 months.

Variations to add to Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed anise seeds + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs + 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans + 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom + 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves + 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup shredded chocolate
  • dip half of the cookie in melted dark chocolate

How to make Perfect Shortbread Cookies- buttery, crisp and divinely delicious, easily made with just a few simple ingredients.

Can this be made Vegan?

You could certainly experiment with using vegan butter or coconut oil!  We have not tried this yet.

More dessert recipes you may enjoy

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How to make Perfect Shortbread Cookies- buttery, crisp and divinely delicious, easily made with just a few simple ingredients.

Perfect Shortbread Cookies Recipe (with variations)

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Completely irresistible Shortbread Cookies are subtlety sweet with a tender crunch.  Perfect as they are or enhance with your favorite flavors!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 sticks (225 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 2/3 (208 g) cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 (56 g) cup rice flour 
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan is good here)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Cream together softened butter and sugar for about 2 minutes in a stand mixer until just smooth.  Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add vanilla.  Mix another few seconds to incorporate.
  4. Add all-purpose flour, rice flour and salt.  Add any flavorings at this time (see notes).  Mix on medium speed just until the dough comes together, and starts to pull away from the bowl.  Scrape the dough out and pat it into a flattened square.
  5. Roll as evenly as you can to 1/2″ thickness.
  6. Trim the edges (if you want them even) and cut into approximately 1 x 3-inch strips.
  7. Carefully space out on a sheet pan, easiest to use a metal spatula for this.  Chill the entire tray of cookies for 15 minutes in the refrigerator, or place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  8. Place the cold tray of cookies in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let rest on the tray a few minutes and move to a cooling rack.  They will crisp up as they cool.

To Store

Make sure cookies are completely cool and store in a covered container for up to two weeks at room temperature. Freeze up to 3 months.


Notes

Variations to add to Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed anise seeds + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs + 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans + 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom + 1/4 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves + 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup shredded chocolate
  • dip half of the cookie in melted dark chocolate

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 124
  • Sugar: 4.2 g
  • Sodium: 25.5 mg
  • Fat: 7.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 20.3 mg

Keywords: shortbread cookies, classic shortbread cookies, perfect shortbread cookies, short breadcookie recipe,

 

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Comments

  1. Used chocolate chips and orange zest. Forgot about the salt. My dough came out drier than the pictures (definitely packed too much flour when measuring). Despite its crumbly texture the dough was still easy enough to shape and handle. Cookies came out perfect. Will try other variations in the future 🙂

  2. These were very tasty, thanks for the great recipe. My wife didn’t find the rice flower at the grocery store so ended up using corn starch instead but still turned out great.

  3. I love the anise seed & cinnamon variation as well as the cardamom and ginger variation. Delicious! I’m curious if you’ve ever tried making shortbread cookies with miso? I tasted some from a local coffee shop/bakery and I have wanted to replicate them ever since!

  4. This looks so lovely, thank you. I will make it for my family just as it is here. I am dairy free – do you think I could use alternative butter for this for a treat for myself? If so, what alternative would you recommend?

    1. I do think you could substitute alternative butter. I don’t have a lot of experience with them but I have used one brand called “Melt”. (Though I have not tried it with these particular cookies.). Let us know what you try!

  5. These cookies look great, I can’t wait to make them.
    We are a “cookie-loving” family, no cookies get turned away with my bunch!
    My only problem is that I can’t locate any rice flour in any of my grocers…..ugh!
    I was told by a friend that I can substitute rice flour with cornstarch or almond flour, I’m not sure, but I’ll give it a try.
    What do you think/recommend for substituting?
    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Dalila, I bet either of those would work. The cornstarch will probably yield a crisper texture. The almond flour sounds yummy too.

      1. You can make rice flour very easily in a coffee or spice mill.. it does add a lovely crunch

        1. Great idea Camilla! I have also use my vita mix. I do usually sift it to catch some of the bigger pieces of rice.