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Simple Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread is a wonderful starting point for all kinds of sweet adventures: top it (nuts, chocolate, jam); flavor it (lemon, hazelnut, coconut); or do both (cappuccino with a mocha ganache drizzle, anyone?) Then again, if you're a "make mine vanilla, please" kind of guy or gal, leave it alone: it can stand on its own in perfect simplicity.—Taste of Home Cooking School
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • Melted caramels or chocolate, optional
  • Chopped nuts, optional


  • In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract if desired. Add flour, beat until a stiff dough forms. Divide dough in half. Press into two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Use a fork to prick the dough over the entire surface randomly or in a pattern.
  • Bake at 300° for 35 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Immediately turn out onto a cutting surface. While warm, cut into 12 wedges using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve plain or drizzle with melted caramel or chocolate and sprinkle with nuts if desired.

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  • Melba947
    Jul 25, 2017

    I've made this recipe twice and it's delicious! Makes a quick, easy gift!

  • MrsOwens
    Jun 2, 2014

    Absolutely delicious! My go to basic shortbread. I also omit the vanilla and/or almond extract for peppermint during the holidays, orange or lemon extract and zest during the spring and summer. Very versatile and even better dipped in dark chocolate!

  • mikelssword
    Jan 3, 2011

    I made this shortbread and gave it to a number of friends for Christmas presents. It is a wonderful recipe, I omitted the almond extract and sprinkled 1 Tablespoonful of sugar on top of each shortbread before baking. They turned out excellent!