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Shortbread Cookies

Serves: Makes 24 cookies
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13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons coarse sugar, or additional granulated sugar


Heat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust a rack to the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla paste and salt and mix until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the flour and mix until incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds. Add remaining flour and mix until just incorporated.

Transfer the dough to a clean counter and press into a 5- by 5-inch block. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When the dough is firm, place between two pieces of wax or parchment paper and roll into a 9- by 9-inch square. Cut into 24 equal rectangles and dock each cookie with a fork. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake until lightly browned and slightly crisp, 17 to 19 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for about a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve.

Photo: Ramona King

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