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These buttery cookies can be made with mix-ins such as orange or lemon zest, dried cranberries or apricots, pistachios or peanut butter chocolate chips.

Source: Everyday Food, December 2004
Total Time Prep Yield


For the Shortbread

Flavor Variations (optional mix-ins and coatings)


Cook's Notes

This recipe makes 2 logs of dough. The logs can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months (thaw before slicing and baking). To make 2 flavors with one recipe, divide the dough in half in step 1 before adding mix-ins (and use half the amounts given).

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How would you rate this recipe?
  • marissakatterg
    1 DEC, 2018
    I make these with the orange zest and dried cranberries, and I add pink peppercorns. They are absolutely delicious!
    • krystaharder
      14 MAR, 2019
      Yum! I actually infuse my butter about a week before I make the shortbread! It really intensified the flavour. So I did a lemon and orange zest butter, and added cranberries. I also did crushes peppermint leaves from the garden in another butter, and lavender buds in another. In my final Batch of butter I added a tbsp chai seasoning. The lavender one i rolled in purple sugar. The chai one I drizzled in chocolate (you could also add chopped chocolate) and the mint ones i painted with a merengue powder-water liquid to adhere a fresh mint leaf to the top of it!
  • elufleryahooc
    5 JAN, 2019
    I'm not sure why this recipe doesn't have a higher overall rating. It's super simple and makes a great little cookie! I make a couple of batches at once, vary the mix-ins, bake off one log, and freeze the rest when I need a little sweet to bring somewhere. They aren't too sweet, are perfect with a cup of tea or glass of wine. I use williams-sonoma dusting sugars on the outside for festive touches. Mix in mini chips, crushed peppermint, pistachios and orange zest, lemon zest... options are endless.
  • carmeldes27
    26 DEC, 2017
    Absolutely perfect just using the basic recipe! My new favourite biscuit and look forward to trying the variations. An added bonus is being able to freeze the logs!
  • sharibertsch831
    22 DEC, 2017
    It is my most requested cookie... we love all the variations of cookies you can make!
    31 MAR, 2017
    This recipe is delicious and simple, basically, 1 bar of butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 2 cups of flour! I roll the dough when I have time and bake whenever I want to. All of my friends loved it. Thank you, this is my fav!!
  • jonesp54
    14 MAR, 2017
    My new favorite cookie recipe.
  • HollyHen
    19 DEC, 2013
    Great recipe for even "bad" bakers like me. A note for fellow novices: the softness of the butter can dramatically affect the texture of the dough. Don't worry if your dough seems too soft to possibly roll or cut; the fridge is the great equalizer and all will come out well. Trust the recipe!
    22 FEB, 2013
    Thanks andyhp. These are wonderful shortbread cookies - good to know I can make lots at once.
  • andyhp
    21 FEB, 2013
    I've made these for years and have doubled and tripled it and they always come out just fine.
    2 FEB, 2013
    Does this recipe work well if doubled? Has anyone tried?

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