Requiring little more than flour, sugar, eggs, and plenty of good butter, rich, crumbly shortbread is one of our favorite treats. Serve it in cookie or bar form as the perfect afternoon snack alongside a cup of tea, or use it as a delicate, buttery crust for any variety of tart.
A recipe in The Herbfarm Cookbook (Scribner, 2000) for lavender shortbread inspired this version of the classic cookie.
The light, crumbly texture of this shortbread owes to a clever technique: freezing the dough and grating it. This recipe is based on one in Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (Morrow, 1996).
Swedish Shortbread Cookies
In Sweden, these shortbread cookies are traditionally cut into star shapes and garnished with pearl sugar, which can be found at specialty baking stores and online sources.
Caramel Crumb Bars
These shortbread bars, with their extravagant double-layered topping—rich caramel and a crumbly butter streusel—are the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents)
Akin to Mexican wedding cookies and Greek kourabiedes, these Austrian vanilla crescents made with ground walnuts and showered in confectioners’ sugar are served throughout central Europe during the weeks leading up to Christmas. See the recipe for Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents) »
Gluten-Free Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Akin to the famed Mexican wedding cookies, Greek kourambiethes, and Southern pecan puffs, these crumbly shortbread crescents, made gluten-free with a variety of specialty flours, are showered with confectioners’ sugar while still hot from the oven.
Shortbread Cookies (Punitions)
Traditional French shortbread cookies taste best using a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold.
Caramel Pretzel Bars
Buttery shortbread meets gooey caramel meets salty pretzels in cookie bar form. We love that the caramel calls for sugar, honey, and maple syrup; it creates a multifaceted sweetness that pairs beautifully with the pretzel’s salt.
Apricot Tarts with Pistachios
Lightly sweetened apricots are baked quickly in a simple short-bread crust for these rustic tarts, which are garnished with vibrant green pistachios and fleur de sel. Other stone fruits, like plums and peaches, will work just as well.
Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
An adaptation of Basque Christmas cookies, these crumbly harinados are made with ground up pistachios and a blend of gluten-free flours.
This recipe is from Food Editor Ben Mims, and was adapted from an old Southern Living recipe. The combination of salty nuts, sweet, buttery shortbread, and dark chocolate will have anyone hooked.