My family’s classic shortbread recipe — baked in a pan and cut into bars, or rolled out and cut into shapes for the holidays.

Shortbread Bars & Cookies

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 C. butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 C. confectioner’s sugar (also called icing sugar)
  • 1/2 C. corn starch
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour plus more if you are rolling into shapes.


  1. Cream butter and add confectioner’s sugar.
  2. Stir in corn starch and flour.
  3. Prepare cookies or bars, and bake according to instructions below.

    For Bars: Spread the cookie dough evenly an 8×8 pan. Gently insert the tip of a fork to create a dotted pattern. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and slice into bars while still warm. Let cool in pan before removing.

    For rolled cookies: Wrap the dough and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll gently on a floured surface, and cut out with cookie cutters of your choice. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees until bottom is just turning golden brown.


Lessons Learned/Advice:

  • Pans do not need any greasing or flour (there’s lots of butter in the cookies that takes care of this).
  • Try not to over-handle cookie dough – either putting it in the pan or especially when rolling and re-rolling.
  • Cutting the bars while the dough is freshly baked is important as the bars will crumble if you wait until its cooled.
  • shows you how to roll the dough between a Silpat mat and plastic wrap, rather than flour, and then chilling the dough before you cut it out. I’m used to my wooden cutting board with a dusting of flour so I’ve yet to  try it, but there are some good tips on rolling in the short video demonstration.