Buttery Shortbread Recipes

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.

Cornmeal Cookies (Paste di Meliga)

These crumbly cornmeal shortbread cookies popular in pastry shops all over northern Italy. **See the recipe for Paste di Meliga (Cornmeal Cookies) »**

Rosemary Shortbread

A recipe in The Herbfarm Cookbook (Scribner, 2000) for lavender shortbread inspired this version of the classic cookie.
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See the Recipe Steve Giralt

Hungarian Shortbread

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).
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See the Recipe Sarah Karnasiewicz

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.

Cardamom-Ginger Crunch

These shortbreads get their spicy kick from ground cardamom and ginger.

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.

Lemon Icebox Pie

This creamy lemon pie with homemade candied lemon peel is a delicious frozen treat. Get the recipe for Lemon Icebox Pie »

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.
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See the Recipe
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See the Recipe Todd Coleman

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies (Schokiladen-Butter-plätzchen)

The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich. Their base is simple, leaving plenty of room for creative decorations.

Anise Seed Crescent Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich.

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.

Butter Turtles

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.