The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Shortbread Cookies ... in a hurry

breadsong's picture

Shortbread Cookies ... in a hurry


Fine Cooking magazine published an article and recipes for Shortbread Cookies a few years ago.
I really like their method which uses unsalted butter, cold from the fridge - a quick mix using a stand mixer, and you're baking in no time.

The quick mix keeps the dough cool; I've found the dough easy to roll out as a result. The finished product is always good! I make these cookies all through the year as a quick and easy 'gift from the kitchen', but I thought I'd post about them now as they are especially good at Christmastime and the holidays are fast approaching.

Here is a link to Fine Cooking's basic shortbread cookie recipe:

Here's their espresso version, dipped in chocolate!:

The cookie dough is really adaptable flavoring-wise:
Brown sugar can be substituted for the white sugar listed in the recipe
Up to half-cup of other ingredients may be added (such as quick oats, finely ground nuts)
Citrus zest is a nice addition (lemon or orange, 1 to 2 teaspoons)
Flavoring extract (maple is good, can't see why coffee or other extracts wouldn't also be good!) 1/4 teaspoon

These are the Brown Sugar and Oatmeal version, with a bit of maple flavoring added, baked in a cast iron maple leaf pan:

Happy baking everyone! from breadsong

BettyR's picture

This recipe is from



Do Not Make these unless you have a bunch of people to feed them to. They are more addictive than crack!!!


I doubled the recipe and made a 9x13 inch pan of them to take to a family gathering that was canceled at the last minute because of a sudden illness. I was stuck with an entire pan of these things and I could not stay out of them.


I added chopped pecans to the caramel and used semi-sweet chocolate chips for the topping. I thought milk chocolate would be too sweet. They are beyond good and really easy to make. They need to sit overnight to set up really well and they stay tasting just made fresh for at least a week. That's how long I've had mine, they are finally almost gone and they still taste as good as new. So these will make a great make-a-head cookie. I didn't chill them like the recipe says, I don't like putting chocolate in the frig. I think the water condensation that gathers as they warm to room temp messes up the chocolate. Just an overnight sit and they set up just fine.



Caramel Shortbread Squares


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

2.     In a medium bowl, mix together 2/3-cup butter, white sugar, and flour until evenly crumbly. Press into a 9-inch square-baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

3.     In a 2-quart saucepan, combine 1/2-cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. Pour over baked crust (warm or cool). Cool until it begins to firm.

4.     Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20-second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover completely. Chill. Cut into 1-inch squares. These need to be small because they are so rich.

breadsong's picture

Hello BettyR, Oh, boy do those look rich. Thanks for sharing this recipe, and the tip too about refrigerating chocolate/condensation.  Regards, breadsong

BettyR's picture

They are a great cookie.

EvaB's picture

it looks like thick whipped cream, and is dropped by tsp onto the sheet, or spritzed with a cookie press. Totally yummy, melt in the mouth and definitly non traditional!

breadsong's picture

Hello EvaB, My husband's family has made a brown sugar whipped shortbread, for generations. My poor old Kitchen Aid gets a workout every year with this one! But the cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and they sound very similar to yours. Regards, breadsong

saltandserenity's picture

Those maple shortbread cookies are so beautiful!!

breadsong's picture

Your cookies you've been posting about look really good, too!
I found a cast iron maple leaf pan somewhere along the line, can't even remember where, but I think at an antique store. It was rusted up and I had it quite awhile before I took the time to restore the pan. These cookies were the first I'd baked in the pan; I was pleased with how they turned out, for a 'fall bake'.
Thanks for writing - from breadsong