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Great-Aunt Annie's Traditional Shortbread

This family recipe for Great-Aunt Annie's traditional shortbread comes from viewer-baker Anne Evans.

  • yield: Makes 12 wedges


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar


  1. Step 1

    Spray a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour. Mix until well combined.

  3. Step 3

    Evenly spread cookie dough into prepared tart pan. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

  4. Step 4

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle shortbread with sanding sugar. Using a 2-inch round fluted cookie cutter, make a shallow cut in the center of the dough. Using the tines of a fork, score dough from the edge of the circle in the center toward the edge of the pan into 12 equal wedges.

  5. Step 5

    Transfer tart pan to oven and bake until light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the shortbread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Immediately re-score circle and wedges with cookie cutter and the tines of a fork. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 1 hour. Remove shortbread from tart pan and let cool completely. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife along the scored lines.

The Martha Stewart Show, May Spring 2007

Reviews (10)

  • 14 Jul, 2011

    I added some vanilla halva to this recipe and it turned out really well. When it bakes, it goes a little chewy which was a lovely contrast to the crunchy shortbread.

  • 25 Dec, 2010

    These were a huge hit at our Christmas dinner.
    Instead of cooking them in a fluted tart pan I used a 9x13 pan and baked an enormous cookie. I added some pizzaz by making rows of tiny holes with a fork. After having cooked, I sliced the enormous cookie into bite size rectangles and dipped them in chocolate. Great!

  • 17 Mar, 2010

    This makes the best-ever cheesecake crust - you'll never make another graham cracker crust after trying this!


  • 17 Mar, 2010

    This makes the best-ever cheesecake crust - you'll never make another graham cracker crust after trying this!


  • 27 Dec, 2008


  • 27 Dec, 2008


  • 21 Aug, 2008

    You really don't need a video.................SUPER easy!!!!!!!!!!

  • 21 Aug, 2008

    The absolute best!!! And I just happened to have 8 oz. of Kerygold butter in the fridge!

  • 24 Mar, 2008

    The video showed up for me in both Part I and 2. I can't wait to try it!

  • 12 Feb, 2008

    where's the video/?????