Simple Old-Fashioned Shortbreads
Cuisine: Christmas
Author: Charmian Christie
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
This is one of the simples cookie recipes going. Butter, flour and sugar. The trick? There is none. It's that simple. This is actually a classic ice box cookies, so you can make the dough in advance and bake the cookies as needed.
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
Prepare the dough
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a sturdy spoon until pale. (You can also do this in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.)
  2. Add the sugar gradually and beat until the sugar is well dissolved.
  3. Add the flour, one half cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Divide the dough in half. Form each half into logs about 2” in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and chill until firm. (The unbaked dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.)
When you're ready to bake
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Let the refrigerated dough soften at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing. (Frozen dough should be left at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing.)
  3. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into rounds ¼" thick. Place ½" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly golden. These cookies should be pale. Remove the cookies from pan and cool on wire rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.
Traditionally, this recipe is mixed by hand using a sturdy wooden spoon. I have very weak wrists and have been making them using a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Recipe by The Messy Baker at