Long ago, a Scottish baker turned elemental ingredients into shortbread. For the modern cook, the master recipe is open to endless variations.

Martha Stewart Living, February 2007


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

Makes 8 wedges


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with rack in upper third. Sift flour and salt into a bowl; set aside. Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl. Gradually add sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  • Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture all at once; mix until just combined.

  • Butter a 10-inch round springform or cake pan. Using plastic wrap, press dough evenly into pan. With plastic on dough, refrigerate 20 minutes.

  • Cut dough into 8 wedges with a paring knife. Using a wooden skewer, prick all over at 1/4-inch intervals.

  • Bake until golden brown and firm in center, about 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Recut shortbread into wedges; let cool completely in pan. Can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Cook's Notes

For shortbread that bakes evenly and doesn't puff up in spots, follow these steps.
1. Turn out the dough into a pan, and cover with plastic wrap (so it doesn't stick to your hands); press into a uniform thickness. Refrigerate.
2. Using a paring knife, cut the dough into wedges. Using a wooden skewer (not a fork -- its tines will pull at the dough), prick the entire surface of the dough in a symmetrical pattern.