Indulge in pure bliss with this classic shortbread recipe that will transport you to a world of deliciousness. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a melt-in-your-mouth treat that will satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth. If you are looking for a shortbread cookies recipe then you have come to the right place.
Imagine biting into a perfectly crisp and buttery cookie that crumbles ever so gently, releasing its rich flavor with each delightful bite. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet moment with a cup of tea or sharing a plateful with loved ones, this classic shortbread recipe is sure to bring smiles and contentment all around.
Made with love and precision, this indulgent shortbread recipe is perfect for any occasion, from afternoon tea parties to holiday gatherings. Its versatility allows you to add your own personal touch, whether it be a hint of citrus zest or a sprinkle of chocolate chips.
Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and create lasting memories with this irresistible classic shortbread recipe. So go ahead, grab your apron, and let the heavenly aroma of freshly baked treats fill your kitchen. It’s time to embark on a delectable journey with the perfect blend of simplicity and indulgence.
History of shortbread
Shortbread is a classic Scottish dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. The name “short” refers to the crumbly texture of the cookie, which is achieved by using a high ratio of butter to flour. Originally, shortbread was a luxury reserved for special occasions like weddings and holidays. It was often cut into intricate shapes and decorated with sugar or other toppings.
Over time, shortbread became more widely available and was enjoyed by people of all classes. Today, it is a beloved treat around the world and is often served during the holiday season. While the classic recipe remains the same, there are many variations and additions that can be made to give shortbread a unique twist.
Being Scottish I have grown up eating shortbread my entire life. In fact this recipe has been handed down to me by my own mother and I can honestly say that this is a recipe for the best shortbread cookies I have ever had.
What is the difference between a butter cookie and a shortbread cookie?
Butter cookies and shortbread cookies are two popular types of cookies that are often mistaken for each other. While both cookies have a rich buttery flavor, there are some distinct differences between the two. Let’s explore the characteristics that set them apart.
- Both butter and shortbread cookies contain similar basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter. However, the ratio of these ingredients can vary significantly, resulting in different textures and flavors. And I have to say the butter to sugar to flour ratio make these the best shortbread cookie recipe.
- One major difference between butter cookies and shortbread cookies lies in their texture. Butter cookies tend to have a lighter and more delicate texture due to high amounts of fat used in the dough. They often melt in your mouth with a slightly crispy exterior.
- On the other hand, shortbread cookies have a crumbly and dense texture. This is because they typically have a higher proportion of flour relative to fat compared to butter cookies. Shortbread has a “snap” when you take a bite, making it perfect for dipping into hot beverages.
- Butter cookies generally have higher sugar content than shortbread cookies since they rely on sweetness for their flavor profile rather than relying solely on buttery richness.
- Shortbread tends to be less sweet but compensates with its rich buttery taste which is achieved by using high-quality unsalted butter.
Items used to make this recipe for Shortbread Cookies
We all have tried and true items that we love to use to cook. I have included some of mine along with the links of where to locate them on Amazon.
- Pyrex Baking Dish is one of my favorite brands of baking dishes to keep on hand. I love how easy they are to clean and that they come with a lid for easy storage. I have them in two sizes. The 9×13 inch is what I use for a thinner shortbread. And the 2-Quart baking dish is what I use for a thicker shortbread.
- Kitchen Aid Hand Held Mixer is my go to time and time again. It is lightweight and easy to use which makes it a must have in my kitchen.
- Parchment Paper Sheets make clean up a breeze and these ones come pre-cut into sheets which means no more struggling with a parchment paper roll.
Ingredients for classic shortbread
To make classic shortbread recipe, you will need just a few simple ingredients:
– 1 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
– 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
– 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
– 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract: Do not settle for imitation vanilla. It may be cheaper but it lacks the rich taste that Pure Vanilla Extract has.
– 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
The quality of the butter you use is important, as it greatly affects the flavor and texture of the final product. Be sure to use unsalted butter to avoid adding too much salt to the recipe. You can also use a high-quality European-style butter for an even richer flavor.
Step-by-step instructions for making shortbread
1. In this recipe for shortbread cookies I prefer to chill the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes before baking. Prior to cooking preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Place parchment paper into a Pyrex baking dish. If you like your shortbread cookies to be thick then use a 9×9 inch baking dish. However if you like them to be thinner use a 9×13 inch baking dish.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. Add in the Pure Vanilla Extract and mix.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until a dough forms.
7. Place the dough into the parchment lined baking dish. Using freshly washed hands evenly spread the shortbread cookie dough until it is level and reaches all of the sides.
8. Place the Shortbread cookie dough into a refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to allow the butter to chill. By doing this it allows the butter to firm up and will give the shortbread cookies a crisp buttery crunch and flavor that shortbread is known for.
9. Prior to baking the shortbread you will want to score it so that it is easier to cut after it bakes. Run a knife through the cookie dough cutting out the shape of the cookies. Take a fork and poke holes into the shortbread.
10. After chilling and scoring the dough place the shortbread cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are lightly golden.
11. Let the cookies cool in the baking dish for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for perfecting your shortbread
In my opinions this is a recipe for the best shortbread cookies. Partly why I feel that way is because it is not as difficult to make these shortbread cookies as you may think. Just follow this easy shortbread recipe along with this simple tips and you will be enjoying these buttery cookies in no time.
– Use room temperature butter for easier mixing and a smoother dough.
– Don’t overwork the shortbread dough, as this can lead to tough cookies. Mix it just enough to bring it together.
– Chill the dough prior to baking to allow the butter to solidify. This will result in a crispy crunch to the shortbread once baked.
– Use a sharp knife to get clean edges on your cookies.
– This recipe for shortbread works best when it is not overcooked. Pay attention to ensure that they do not get too done.
– Let the cookies cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
Variations on the classic shortbread recipe
While the classic shortbread recipe is delicious on its own, there are many variations you can try to give it a unique twist. Here are a few ideas:
– Add a teaspoon of lemon extract or lemon zest to the dough for a subtle flavor boost.
– Mix in some chopped nuts or dried fruit for added texture and flavor.
– Dip the cookies in melted chocolate or sprinkle them with powdered sugar for a decorative touch.
– Use different cookie cutters to create fun shapes for different occasions.
Serving suggestions for this shortbread cookies recipe
This shortbread cookies recipe is easy to make and a delicious treat for any occasion. Shortbread is a versatile treat that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Here are a few ideas for serving and pairing it:
– Serve shortbread with a cup of tea or coffee for a classic pairing.
– Top shortbread with whipped cream and fresh berries for a simple and elegant dessert. Adding fruit elevates the flavor and takes it to a whole new level for this dessert cookie.
– Crumble shortbread over your favorite ice cream for added crunch and flavor. The buttery flavor of the shortbread cookies adds richness to the ice cream that is a must try.
– Pair shortbread with a glass of sherry or port for a decadent treat.
Storing and preserving shortbread
- Choose the Right Container:
The first step in storing shortbread is choosing an appropriate container. Opt for an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent moisture from seeping in. Glass jars or metal tins work well for this purpose.
- Wrap Individual Pieces:
If your shortbread comes in individually wrapped pieces, ensure each piece is tightly sealed with plastic wrap or parchment paper before placing them in the container. This added layer of protection helps maintain the freshness of each piece.
When storing multiple pieces of unwrapped shortbread together, layer them between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
- Store at Room Temperature:
Unlike some other baked goods, shortbread retains its texture and flavor best when stored at room temperature. Avoid refrigerating or freezing your shortbread unless necessary (e.g., if you live in a particularly warm climate).
Classic Shortbread Recipe
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 9×9 inch Baking Dish for thicker shortbread or 9×13 Baking Dish for thinner shortbread
- 1 Parchment Paper
- 1 Hand Held Mixer
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Place parchment paper into a Pyrex baking dish. If you like your shortbread cookies to be thick then use a 9×9 inch baking dish. However if you like them to be thinner use a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the Pure Vanilla Extract and mix.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until a dough forms.
- Place the dough into the parchment lined baking dish. Using freshly washed hands evenly spread the shortbread cookie dough until it is level and reaches all of the sides.
- Place the Shortbread cookie dough into a refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to allow the butter to chill. By doing this it allows the butter to firm up and will give the shortbread cookies a crisp buttery crunch and flavor that shortbread is known for.
- Prior to baking the shortbread you will want to score it so that it is easier to cut after it bakes. Run a knife through the cookie dough cutting out the shape of the cookies. Take a fork and poke holes into the shortbread.
- After chilling and scoring the dough place the shortbread cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are lightly golden.
- Let the cookies cool in the baking dish for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.