Shortbread family recipe

Yes, you too can make shortbread.

pieces of shortbread in a Pyrex baking pan

This 5-ingredient recipe is considered delicate and time-consuming.

ingredients for shortbread artfully displayed
1-lb.454 gButter
1-tsp.5 mlPure Vanilla Extract
1¼-Cup285 mlFruit Sugar (no less)
5¾-cups1.35 LCake and Pastry Flour
4-tbsp.60 mlRice Flour

  A Large Mixing Bowl
  A Cookie Sheet
  A Large Spoon
  A Spatula
  A Sieve
  2-Cup Measuring Cup
  1-Cup Measuring Cup
  A Teaspoon
  A Tablespoon
  A Fork
  A Knife

  A glass of your favorite BEvERage

Let the butter warm to room temperature. If you normally wear a sweater, your room is not warm enough. Don’t even think of using the oven, microwave, or stovetop to warm the butter.

Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C).

Sift 1¼ cups (355 ml) of fruit sugar into 1 pound (454 g) of warm butter.

two-thirds of a cup of fruit sugar
In a mixing bowl, a block of butter and sifted sugar

Use a large spoon to mix to the sugar and butter until the clumps become a well-blended paste. At this stage it is important to know that if you lick your fingers, you must wash and dry your hands immediately before proceeding.

a mixing bowl of crumbled butter
fruit sugar creamed into butter

Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla and blend well with a large spoon. Continue to sift in 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of rice flour.

a teaspoon of real vanilla extract
a box of rice flour, in front a set of four teaspoons artfully displayed

½-cup at a time, sift in the 5¾ cups (1350 ml) of cake and pastry flour. Fold in with a spatula.

A bowl of dough, on the bowl is a sifter with sifted flour on top of the dough
a ball of dough in a bowl with a measuring cup half full of flour and a glass of rye

When your girly man arms are too weak to continue to fold with the spatula, use your fingers to break the clumps into pebbles. Continue to sift in the cake and pastry flour, ½-cup at a time. By the way, that’s pebbles, not sand. If it takes only 5 or 5½ cups (1200 to 1300 ml) to get to pebbles, then stop there.

a photo of a man stirring pastry in a bowl

Gather the pebbles into large clumps (but, I just…) and gently spread out onto cookie sheet using a large spoon. Use a fork to poke holes into the shortbread all the way to the bottom of the cookie sheet. The holes should be no less than ¼“ apart. Reduce oven to 200°F (95°C) and bake for 1 hour. Keep close watch or it will overcook like mine (Mmm, dog biscuits). Cut immediately into rectangles, and let cool.

a shortbread loaf in a baking pan