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Dec 14, 2005 09:20 AM

Best shortbread cookie recipe needed

  • n

Ok, so I make them every year. But I'd like to know if there's one fabulous recipe you'd recommend. It could be a variation - doesn't have to be the purist version. Thanks.

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  1. I really love the gingered shortbread at Epicurious. Instead of baking it their way in a springform pan I roll it out rther thickly and at Christmas cut out stars. After it is baked i drizzle it with bittersweet Scharffen Berger chocolate.

    1. p
      peppermint pate

      I just decided that I'm going to bake up a big batch of shortbread cookies this week-end to bring to a few "drop-in" gatherings I'm going to over the next few days. I found what looks like a good recipe from a cookbook I love called "In the Sweet Kitchen" - it's Scottish shortbread that you divide into 3 batches/variations - one plain, one with espresso and dark chocolate and the other with white chocolate and candied ginger.

      Caveat - I've never baked shortbread before (any tips?) and I've never made this recipe but everything else I've made from this cookbook is great.

      If you're interested, let me know and I'll post in a copyright-friendly way.

      11 Replies
      1. re: peppermint pate

        Really good shortbread uses some rice flour in it to get that fine grain. Bob's Red Mill is the brand I use. If a Shortbread recipe calls for 2 C. flour I replace 1/2 C. of the flour with the rice flour. Use the best real unsalted butter, not margerine, that you can. Bake until it just begins to take on a little color

        1. re: Candy
          peppermint pate

          Wow - you and the cookbook author are on the same page. This recipe calls for 3 cups a.p. flour and 1 cup of rice flour which she says is an old Scottish trick to "yield a very tender crumb". She also advises to use the best quality unsalted butter, not previously frozen, and very fresh flour. Can't wait to try them. Cheers.

          1. re: peppermint pate

            I got this recipe out of a little cookbook I bought in Scotland about thirty years ago. It uses rice flour. It's some of the best shortbread I've ever tasted.


            1. re: MsMaryMc

              gotta find out where to obtain rice flour. dont remember ever seeing it

              1. re: iL Divo

                I've found it in a lot of supermarkets. If they have a section on the baking products aisle with specialty flours, you're likely to find it there. Bob's Red Mill makes it, among others--if your local market sells their products, they may have that one.

                1. re: MsMaryMc

                  just remembered that maybe my local Orowheat bakery outlet center would have it. they have multiple kinds of odd things like that in there, like graham flour and rye flour, so maybe I'd get lucky there, thanks.

          2. re: Candy

            I once made a British shortbread recipe which called for using some cornstarch (for the same reason, I suppose). They were very good/tender.

            Has anyone tried both versions (cornstarch, rice flour) and can describe the difference in texture?

            1. re: Funwithfood

              too much cornstarch subbed out for flour, way too crispy.
              a small amount is a nice tender cookie.

          3. re: peppermint pate

            I've used that cookbook before with great success, but I've never made the shortbread cookies. Good luck!

            1. re: peppermint pate

              Yes, the rice flour is a good trick. My traditional shortbread recipe is simple 4:2:1 ratio of flour, butter, sugar. 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar. Keep your kitchen cold - this is why shortbread is a winter treat - the whole point is to keep the butter bits as cold as possible. Only bake until a hint of tan appears.

              1. re: peppermint pate

                My tips are watch it close in the oven door cause it can go dark on you in a moment. Other tip, omit, in my not so humble opinion, the vanilla. Made it with vanilla today and by my standards, it toughens up the cook which is exactly what I wane away from.....Oh, and score your dough before it goes into the oven, I use a fancy butter ripple tool that leaves scalloped edges. If not, you run the risk of not being able to cut in to pieces later and it may puff up on you too due to the butter content...

              2. Look in the food section of today's New York Times

                1. I love shortbread with chopped rosemary inside (topped with a couple leaves as a garnish).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Funwithfood

                    I found a rosemary poppy seed shortbread recipe a while back. I liked it a lot, my husband, not so much as he is the puritan in the family, wants it straight up only

                  2. I love this recipe by Gale Gand I originally tried from the Baking with Julia cookbook. It has a different texture than Scottish style shortbread because of the grating method. Use your favorite special jam.