This Shortbread Cookie recipe results in the most divinely delicious cookie- subtlety sweet and gloriously buttery with a perfect tender crunch.  Easy to make, with simple ingredients,  they make a beautiful gift. Includes a video.

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

Hands down, Shortbread Cookies are my favorite cookie.  The ingredients are simple, the process is easy, and the result is pure magic.   Shortbread cookies are the perfect balance of crispy texture, subtle sweetness, and a touch of salt.    Scrumptious just like they are or use them as a tasty base for spices, herbs, citrus zest, nuts, seeds and extracts.

For Shortbread Cookies to be at their best, the texture has to be right; they need to be flakey and crispy all the way through.  The key here is to bake in a low-temperature oven and use a little 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.

Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

  • unsalted butter – organic if possible.
  • organic cane sugar 
  • vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour 
  • rice flour – for the best texture.  Or use more all-purpose flour. 
  • fine 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.  Over-mixing can cause the cookies to spread in the oven- we also don’t want to develop any of the gluten, which can make them chewy.
  3. The rice flour elevates! This helps ensure the perfect crispy texture we want!

ingredients in perfect shortbread cookies

 Shortbread Cookies (step-by-step Instructions)

Cream together softened butter and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  Keep in mind that over-mixing can cause the cookies to spread.

butter and sugar in stand mixer

Step two

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

whipped butter

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

Scrape the dough out and pat it into a flattened square.  Roll as evenly as you can to 1/2″ thickness. Alternatively, you can pat into a long flat brick and slice (see recipe notes).

rolled out and trimmed cookie dough

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

Carefully space out on a sheet pan, it is easiest to use a metal spatula for this.  Score with a fork if desired. Chill the entire tray of cookies for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

scoring the shortbread cookies before baking

Place the cold tray of cookies in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.

baked shortbread cookies

Let rest on the tray a few minutes after removing from the oven and move to a cooling rack.  The shortbread will crisp up as they cool.

How to Store Shortbread Cookies

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

 Shortbread Cookies Variations

  • 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 ShortBread Cookies Be Made Vegan?

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

More Cookie recipes you may enjoy

Watch how to make Shortbread Cookies (Video)

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how to make the best shortbread cookie

Shortbread Cookie Recipe (Video)

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies, desserts
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Shortbread Cookie recipe results in the most divinely delicious cookie- subtlety sweet and gloriously buttery with a perfect tender crunch.  Easy to make, with simple ingredients,  they make a beautiful gift. Includes a video.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 sticks (225 g or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (240 g)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (40 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (Himalayan is good here)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Cream together softened butter and sugar for 1 minute in a stand mixer until just smooth.  Scrape down the sides. Mix again.
  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. On a floured surface, silpat, or floured piece of parchment, roll as evenly as you can to 1/2″ thickness. (Alternatively you can form it into a long “brick”, refrigerate, then slice- see notes)
  6. Trim the edges and cut into 1 x 3-inch pieces. Poke holes if you like using a fork or toothpick. ( Or feel free to use a cookie cutter, reusing the scraps.)
  7. Carefully space out 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan using a metal spatula for this.  Chill the entire tray of cookies for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  8. Place the cold tray of cookies in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let rest on the tray for 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

Brick: On a floured piece of parchment, form the dough into a log, then pat into a brick, 12 inches long by 1 inch tall by 3 inches wide. Use a dough scraper to tidy the edges. Place on a small sheet pan, wrap up, and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 4 days (or freeze for later). Once thoroughly chilled, slice into 24, ½-inch slices. Poke holes if you like. Continue with step 7 in the recipe.

Shortbread Cookie Variations

  • 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: one cookie
  • 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 cookie recipe, shortbread cookie video, shortbread cookies, shortbread cookie, best shortbread cookie, classic shortbread cookies, perfect shortbread cookies, shortbread cookie recipe easy,

 

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Comments

  1. Followed the recipe. Used Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 gluten free flour. Don’t think that I over mixed them yet the individual cookies ALL ran together in the oven. What a mess and a disappointment. Every other recipe on Feasting at Home has been super.

    1. Oh shoot Tanene, were so sorry about that. Frustrating. Did you happen to use the recipe multiplier? I am noticing the rice flour is not doubling, do you think that could have been the problem?

      1. Yep…that not doubling is probably the problem. The recipe plus your glazed pecans recipe was to be small gifts to neighbors. A next door neighbor came to the ‘rescue’. She said “Oh just chop it in pieces and call it ‘cookie bark’.” That worked! I am over my upset; after the holiday break, I will try again. Will make sure the rice flour amount is doubled.

  2. These cookies are absolute perfection! I’ve made them several times for different occasions and the recipe is always asked for. They were a great cookie for my Christmas platters for neighbors- they look really good mixed with gingerbread men. I have tried MANY shortbread recipes and something is always not quite right with them- I love that I can stop looking now!

  3. Did you leave out a liquid. Mine came out , not like a dough, but like flour with some butter. Could not even hold them together to form cookies

  4. This works made vegan. I used a vegan baking block available quite widely in the UK, it’s made with plant oils only. Definitely tastes like shortbread. Thank you!

  5. I want to make these cookies. Need to know which direction is the correct one. Near the top, the information with pictures says to chill the tray for 15 mi in fridge or place in freezer for 5 min.
    In the directions, #7 says to put entire tray for 30 min in fridge or freezer for 15 min. Which is recommended.

    1. Oh sorry about that- kind of confusing! I adjusted the post, the recipe card had the correct instructions.

  6. Could I mix the dough ahead of time and freeze it in a rectangle log? Take it out a bit before baking -slice and bake?

    1. Yes, you totally could. The slices can fall apart if you slice too frozen so let thaw sufficiently.

  7. I am counting calories and doing well with it as I don’t restrict myself from any type of food. that being said, what is the serving size? I see that it says 124 calories. Is that per cookie? Thank you!

    1. Yes, 124 calories per cookie, and there are 24 cookies per recipe. 🙂

  8. Amazingly delicious shortbread biscuits. this time I made them with the addition of cardamon and ginger. Scrumptious. I served them with chocolate icecream and home made rasberrie coulis.

  9. Absolutely delicious and easy. I had to bake them 10-15 minutes longer. I will try a 350 degree oven next time. Might be because I’m at a high elevation.

    1. That could be Michone, I am at sea level. If I make them thicker, sometimes I will turn the oven off but leave them in with the door ajar just to get them crisp all the way through. Higher oven temp will work but will brown more on the outside, which gives a nice toasty flavor. Play around and let us know what you try!

  10. Could you possibly use all rice flour to make them gluten free? All of your recipes are so good, but I have a friend that I would like to make these for but she can’t have gluten at all.

    1. Using a GF flour blend would probably yield better results, use it for both the flour and rice flour measurements. All rice flour would be too crumbly.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

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