Buttery goodness. Crumbs that melt in your mouth. Decadent vanilla flavor. Do I have your attention? These shortbread cookies may look boring, but they are quite the contrary. After one bite, these cookies will become one of the most irresistible cookies that you’ve ever had. To quote my taste tester and husband extraordinaire, “Yea, these don’t suck.” Which was said while eating several pieces after the one I’d handed him as a taster.
Shortbread Cookies Recipe
(Makes 16 cookies)
- 1 cup (equivalent to 2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside. *
- In a medium bowl, mix the butter and vanilla extract together. Set the wet ingredients aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, powdered sugar, and baking powder.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter will be crumbly.
- Spread out the dough evenly and press it down firmly into the baking pan. It should be about 1/4 inch in height.
- Bake it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly light brown. When you take it out of the oven it will feel soft in the middle, but it will set as it cools in the pan.
- Allow it cool in the pan before you cut into it.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature or in a freezer friendly bag in the freezer.
* Shortbread cookies are very delicate. I recommend cutting the cookies in the pan and removing them individually. If you lift the entire sheet of cookie out of the pan at one time it will likely crack. An alternative to cutting the cookies in the pan would be to use a tart pan with a removable bottom. While I didn’t use a tart pan today, I would use it in the future with this recipe because I prefer to cut the cookies when they are out of the pan. It’s just easier. An ideal pan would be this Fat Daddio Tart Pan which is the closest size I could find to my 9 x 13 baking pan.
You only need 5 ingredients to make these buttery treats! How awesome is that? Most people already have everything but a box of cake flour, so your trip to the store will be really easy. Plus, they are super easy to make.
Two sticks of butter?! Um, yes, I’m sorry about that, but they are a butter cookie after all. Make sure it’s room temperature so that it can mix well with the vanilla extract. A trick to bringing cold butter to room temperature quickly is to pop it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. This is just enough to take the chill out but not enough to turn it into something that would be better to dip lobster in.
Use good quality pure vanilla extract because it tastes better. This is especially true when it’s nearly the only flavor in the recipe. You don’t have to buy anything fancy or expensive. Some people will leave it out of their shortbread recipe, but I recommend using it because it enhances the buttery flavors.
Cake flour is awesome. I recently started baking with it in some of my recipes so I always keep a box of it in the house. The cake flour helps to give these cookies a lovely soft texture and I highly recommend using it here (it’s not expensive). However, if you prefer to use all-purpose flour then there are a few sources online to help you convert the measurement, like Joy of Baking.
A little patience comes in handy when it comes time to spread the cookie dough into the baking pan. Trust me, it will all spread out even though it doesn’t look like it will. Make sure to spread it out evenly and pack it down firmly. I used the bottom of one of my metal measuring cups to help.
Mmm, can you see those gorgeous layers of buttery heaven? These are a common addition to any proper tea time, but I’ll take them any time of day. :) Shortbread cookies tend to be hard, but these are softer, which makes each bite melt in your mouth.
They look so prim and proper so I jazzed them up with some fun straws. Am I the only one who thinks fun props can make food look fun?
It’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays. Whip up a quick batch of these, wrap them up in pretty holiday paper, and they will make a great gift for anyone.
If you’ve been here before then you know that I’m a chocoholic and takes a lot for a non-chocolate treat to impress me. This one impress me…A LOT! (Maybe it’s all the butter?)
Slightly adapted from: Just a Pinch
Note: Not a paid advertisement for Fat Daddio. I’m just sharing my opinion.