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Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

With only a few ingredients, these butter shortbread cookies are so simple to prepare. —Pattie Prescott, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted Kerrygold butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour. Press dough into an ungreased 9-in. square baking pan. Prick with a fork.
  • Bake until light brown, 30-35 minutes. Cut into squares while warm. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar.

Shortbread Cookie Tips

Should you sift flour when making shortbread?

We recommend sifting flour for all baked goods to break up any clumps. It’s especially a good idea in this easy cookie recipe that has just three ingredients. If you don’t have a sifter, use an electric mixer or try using a balloon whisk or strainer to sift!

Why is my shortbread too soft?

Shortbread contains a high amount of butter, so if you find your shortbread too soft, try chilling the bars before baking. This will allow the butter to harden.

Why do you fork shortbread?

Forking shortbread is not necessary, but it prevents the butter from bubbling. Pricking your shortbread also gives it that signature Scottish shortbread cookie design!

How should I store shortbread cookies?

Because shortbreads have a high fat content, they must be handled carefully to prevent crumbling. To store, arrange your cookies in a single layer, adding a piece of parchment or waxed paper between layers. Shortbreads will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. For longer storage (up to 3 months), pop the cookies in the freezer and follow these cookie freezing tips!
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 183 calories, 12g fat (7g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.


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Average Rating:
    Nov 11, 2020

    This recipe was amazing! I've never made Shortbread Cookies before and was skeptical on how they would turn out. Perfect Texture, Consistency, and Sweetness. Huge hit with my family. I'll be making these often. Thanks ??

  • debbyboyle1016
    Oct 22, 2020

    Need 4-1/2 cups of flour. Too buttery. Too crumbly. Followed recipe exactly. Or maybe even add 1/2 c cornstarch.

  • fleetwood2
    Sep 10, 2020

    Just made this shortbread recipe and it is delicious. So fast and easy!! I used salted butter and added vanilla bean paste. I will definitely make these again.

  • Sanjana
    Aug 12, 2020

    Super easy and fast to make

  • Alice
    Aug 3, 2020

    I’ve made these before and I loved them, I wanna try making them again but with chocolate chips, would that be alright or would it ruin the cookie?

  • margie
    May 19, 2020

    Can you use Monk Fruit instead of sugar in recipes or sugar substitute

  • Patty
    May 9, 2020

    Sunshyn1 Maybe she didn't read the note because it wasn't there. Mine doesn't show any note from the author, either.

  • Yolanda
    Mar 29, 2020

    I love these cookies. Sometimes I add lemon zest to the dough then glaze with a thin lemon glaze. I usually add two teaspoons of vanilla extract to the dough if I don't use lemon. Give it a try.

  • Psalm127-3
    Feb 27, 2020

    Shortbread cookie recipes are always (that I’ve seen) this recipe meaning however much flour you use > use 1/2 of that measurement of butter and 1/2 again as much sugar. So if you choose: 4 cups of flour (This is your next 2 ingreds measurements) 2cups of butter 1 cup of sugar (I use salted butter simply to give flavor otherwise they’re flat in flavor——-these are my husbands’ favorite cookie

  • Shirley
    Jan 26, 2020

    Love this recipe. I decided to enter a shortbread contest and researched many recipes. I chose this for the simplicity. My daughter asked that I cut them into rounds to remind her of her recent trip to Scotland. A light sprinkle of sugar before baking. Imagine my shock when I won first place at the 170th Highland Games. Woo hoo amazing easy recipe.