Shortbread Cookies


2 1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

16 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

sanding sugar for decoration

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

1.  Whisk flour and salt together in a medium bowl.

2.   Using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy, ( approx 3 minutes)

3. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture, and mix until combined ( approx 30 seconds)

4. Using your hands,  press dough into a ball in the bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured counter and knead dough until very smooth, about 3 minutes.

5. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a cylinder and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 20 minutes.

6. Double line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 300 degrees.

7.  Unroll cylinder of dough and cut into 1/4 inch slices ( or be consistent with you size). Place on lined baking sheets.

8.  Place sanding sugar into a small bowl.  Dip each piece of cookie ( before you bake it) into the sugar and put back on parchment.

9.  Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookie. Cookie should be pale golden brown.

10.  Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes,, then gently remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


This is a recipe that I have used for forty years. It was given to me by Anne Earl, who is my son’s grandmother.  She used to make these cookies for the grandchildren and brought them with her when she visited.  The copy above is from American Test Kitchen and varies ever so slightly.  She used  cornstarch in her recipe  and slightly less butter. But the buttery texture of these cookies is amazing, and because of the butter they only get better with age – if they last that long.

I took these along with me on a recent visit to Virginia to see my sister and her family.  Needless to say they loved them  – and did not last long.

This is a cookie I always make for Christmas.  Sometimes I make a double batch and freeze the cylinders til after Christmas so I could get a sample.  Love them with a cup of Earl Grey White Tea!!


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