Shortbread Cookies


Yield: 2 1/2 lbs of dough makes 30 large, 45 medium, or 60-70 small cookies

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, sifted

Decorating Options

  • granulated or decorative colorful sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 cup chocolate chips melted with 1 tbsp shortening for dipping or drizzling

Special Equipment

  • electric mixer with paddle attachment
  • rolling pin
  • plastic wrap
  • baking sheets
  • cooling racks
  • thin spatula


  1. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or a hand mixer, cream the butter, salt and 1¼ cup sugar until well combined, about 30 seconds
  2. Add the flour and mix until combined – don’t over-mix. Scrape down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated
  3. Divide the dough in half. Lay one half of the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. It will be crumbly, but will come together. Top with a second piece of plastic wrap.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a uniform ¼" thickness. Repeat with the second half of the dough and two additional pieces of plastic wrap
  4. Chill the dough sheets in the refrigerator until firm – 1 hour or up to overnight. (At this point, you could freeze the dough sheets and defrost at room temperature for 10-15 minutes or so before using. Dough will last several months in the freezer)
  5. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and stamp shapes with cookie cutters, using the bottom piece of plastic to help you remove the cookies and keep their shapes intact. (Dough scraps can be re-rolled, re-chilled and stamped again twice)
  6. Place cookies on an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet, spacing them about 1" apart, as cookies will spread slightly. Puncture several times with the tines of a fork. Chill 30 minutes in the refrigerator for cookies to retain their best shape while baking
  7. Preheat the oven to 300° with racks in the center of the oven
  8. Bake the sheets on center racks, swapping the sheets from top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Bake until cookies are firm, and barely pale golden, about 25-30 minutes for a single tray, and 35-40 minutes with two trays - keep an eye on them so that they'd don't burn
  9. If decorating, immediately dust cookies with either granulated or decorative sugar after removing from oven
  10. Cool the cookies, and using a thin spatula, carefully remove them from the cookie sheet. Reserve in an airtight container; cookies will keep for several weeks
  11. If desired, dip the cooled cookies in chocolate chips, melted with 1 tbsp of shortening. Allow the dipped cookies to set up at room temperature before storing