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5 Ways to Update Your Shortbread

5 shortbread recipes

Today is National Shortbread Day and, even though I think there is an overabundance of food holidays, I am firmly behind celebrating shortbread. It never ceases to amaze me that three simple ingredients (butter, brown sugar, and flour) mixed just so can transform into something so delectable. Each perfectly textured bite of shortbread is pure, buttery, heaven. I could write poetry about shortbread all day, but I think it’s time to dig in!

I found my favorite shortbread recipe years ago and it truly is the best. I love a pure, unadulterated shortbread cookie, so I have always just followed the recipe pretty much to a tee. But, over the last few months, I’ve started playing with flavors. First, I simply added chocolate chunks and the result was divine. Then, I added peppermint and dipped the shortbread in chocolate and I was hooked. I didn’t think it was possible, but I love shortbread even more now that I know what a perfect canvas it is for so many flavors!

Today, I have five truly fabulous shortbread recipes to share with you: lemon, chocolate, cardamom, pistachio, and coconut. Seriously, I cannot choose a favorite, they are all wonderful! I hope that you’ll enjoy each and every one as much as I have. And, after you’ve tried all (because you have to), go and try your own flavors. As you adapt the basic recipe, the goal is to keep the texture of the final dough the same as the original recipe. If you add a dry ingredient like cocoa, you will need to decrease the amount of flour accordingly. If you add something wet like lemon juice, add a smidge more flour. You don’t want to stray too far from the original measurements, but trust yourself. Once you get the knack of working with the wonderful canvas that is shortbread, the possibilities are endless!

1. Lemon

shortbread lemon

For lemon shortbread, most of the flavor comes from lemon zest, but a bit of lemon juice is added for a tart punch. These cookies have just the right amount of lemon flavor.

lemon shortbread

Lemon Shortbread

Makes: 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 1/4 cups + 1 teaspoon flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until very light in color, scraping bowl as necessary.
3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Mix on low at first, then increase to medium speed and mix for about 5 minutes.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out flat to 1/2-inch thick then cut with an evenly shaped cookie cutter, like a circle or square. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough has been used.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.

2. Chocolate

lemon shortbread

This cookie has all the texture and butteriness of shortbread, but coupled with a very rich chocolate flavor. This shortbread is pretty much amazing.

chocolate shortbread

Chocolate Shortbread

Makes: 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until very light in color, scraping bowl as necessary.
3. Add cocoa powder through a sieve or sifter. Add flour. Mix on low at first, then increase to medium speed and mix for about 5 minutes.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out flat to 1/2-inch thick then cut with an evenly shaped cookie cutter, like a circle or square. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough has been used.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, until cookies are set. Since you can’t tell if the cookies are browned, you want to take the cookies out once they are firm enough that if you tip one up it doesn’t bend at all, but don’t overcook.

3. Cardamom

shortbread cardamom

My family is Swedish, so I grew up with cardamom-flavored sweet baked goods. Knowing how delicious the spice was in those treats, I decided to give it a try in shortbread. All I can say is I am so glad that I did.

cardamom shortbread

Cardamom Shortbread

Makes: 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 1/4 cups flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until very light in color, scraping bowl as necessary.
3. Add cardamom and flour. Mix on low at first, then increase to medium speed and mix for about 5 minutes.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out flat to 1/2-inch thick then cut with an evenly shaped cookie cutter, like a circle or square. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough has been used.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.

4. Pistachio

cardamom shortbread

If you like pistachios, you’ll love these cookies. This shortbread has a nice subtle flavor from the pistachios, with an occasional bite of nut that complements the buttery cookie so well.

pistachio shortbread

Pistachio Shortbread

Makes: 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw, unsalted pistachios
2 1/8 cups flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until very light in color, scraping bowl as necessary.
3. Blend pistachios in a blender or food processor until well mixed and only a few small pieces of nut remain.
4. Add blended pistachios and flour to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix on low at first, then increase to medium speed and mix for about 5 minutes.
5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out flat to 1/2-inch thick then cut with an evenly shaped cookie cutter, like a circle or square. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough has been used.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.

5. Coconut

shortbread coconut

Unsweetened coconut is used in this recipe to keep the shortbread subtly sweet, which is one of the reasons shortbread is so good. The coconut is pulverized in a blender, yielding a really wonderful texture and flavor.

coconut shortbread

Coconut Shortbread

Makes: 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2 1/8 cups flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until very light in color, scraping bowl as necessary.
3. Place coconut in a blender or food processor and blend until it is quite fine.
4. Add coconut and flour to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix on low at first, then increase to medium speed and mix for about 5 minutes.
5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out flat to 1/2-inch thick then cut with an evenly shaped cookie cutter, like a circle or square. Repeat rolling and cutting until all the dough has been used.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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