Shortbread Cookie RecipeThe rich buttery goodness of shortbread cookies make them a wonderful dessert or snack or something to accompany your cup of coffee. And they're also great for the holidays.
A few tips:
- Chill the dough thoroughly before rolling it out.
- Dust your work surface with flour before rolling out the cookies. But don't use any more flour than you absolutely need, or the cookies may come out too hard.
- Cut the cookies out as close together as you can to minimize leftover scraps. You can reroll these leftovers. But doing so toughens the glutens, and cookies made from these rerolled scraps may turn out too hard.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- ½ lb unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt (table salt, not Kosher salt)
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (or see variations below)
- 3 cups pastry flour, or 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- Let all the ingredients come to room temperature before you begin.
- Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and salt on low speed.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until blended.
- Add the flour to wet ingredients and mix until they're combined.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Be gentle with the dough while wrapping it. Overworking the dough will toughen the cookies.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare your baking sheet pan by greasing it with butter or shortening or lining it with parchment paper. Or use a silicone baking mat, which is my favorite technique.
- Unwrap the chilled dough, transfer it to a lightly floured workbench or butcher block and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about one-quarter of an inch thick.
- Cut out the cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Remember, cut them as close together as you can.
- Bake for around 15 minutes or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies are barely beginning to turn golden brown.
- When the cookies are cool enough to handle but still warm, remove them from the pan and cool them on a wire rack. You can eat them as soon as they're cool enough that they won't burn your mouth. Or if you'll be storing them, make sure they've cooled thoroughly first.
Variations: For a slightly different flavor, try substituting ½ tsp lemon extract or almond extract for the vanilla. Or leave out the flavoring altogether, which is actually more traditional.