Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch


5 dozen

Updated: Aug. 23, 2023
I live in Missouri, but many of our family recipes come from New Zealand, where I lived as a youngster. I proudly claim a Down Under heritage! These special-occasion cookies bring back warm and sweet memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family—no matter where they live. —A. Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cornstarch and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Roll dough into a 15x2x1-in. rectangle; chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°. Cut into 1/4-in. slices; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Shortbread Tips

Why do you put cornstarch in shortbread?

Some shortbread recipes, like this one, use cornstarch to create a light, tender texture. Cornstarch contains no gluten, so it helps prevent the toughening that can happen when a wheat flour dough gets overworked. Check out more secrets to spectacular shortbread.

Why do you poke holes in shortbread?

Poking small holes in the dough allows some steam to escape while baking, preventing bubbles inside the cookies. This results in a more uniform texture throughout the shortbread.

Can I use granulated sugar instead of confectioners' sugar?

You can use granulated sugar in this easy shortbread recipe, but you'll need to decrease the amount by about a fourth. The reason is that granulated sugar is more dense than powdered, so you get more sweetness per cup by volume. You can also make your own confectioners' sugar by pulsing granulated sugar in a food processor or blender until it's fine and fluffy.

How long do shortbread cookies last?

Avoid common cookie storage mistakes and your shortbread will last longer. At room temperature in an airtight container—like one of these cookie storage containers—shortbread cookies will last up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.

Research contributed by Elizabeth Harris

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 57 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 44mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.