Shortbread Fingers

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Since I was a kid, I’ve loved shortbread cookies.  I think I first had them in those tins you get around the holidays.  Walkers makes a pretty good shortbread cookie, but they’re not quite the same as the kind I like to make at home.

When I first moved to the Seattle area, I got a job working at Williams-Sonoma.  I learned a lot about kitchen gadgets and tools and was lucky enough to try many of the specialty foods that Williams-Sonoma carries.  My favorite was a cookie mix for Shortbread cookies.  I couldn’t get enough of these cookies and was devastated when the line was discontinued.  I stocked up on several bags of this special cookie mix and kept them around long after the “best buy” date so that I could continue to enjoy them for as long as possible.  Eventually I used my last bag of mix (Don’t worry, they were still good even after their prime.) and knew I had to find some way to replicate these delicious cookies.  After a long search, I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook which closely resembles the mix from Williams-Sonoma.  I am happy with the lovely dense texture and buttery flavor and I hope that you will like them, too!

For an extra treat, you can dip these cookies in melted chocolate.  You could also sprinkle a little cinnamon in with the sugar or add a little cardamom to the dough for a more exotic flavor.  I encourage you to experiment!  Stay tuned for a post on my favorite chocolate shortbread recipe, soon to come!


Shortbread Fingers


  • 3 sticks 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 12 x 8 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add powered sugar. Mix on low speed until combined and then increase speed to medium for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scape down sides again, then slowly add flour and salt, and beat on low speed until just combined (scrape sides of bowl as needed).
  • Transfer dough into prepared baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Prick dough all over with a fork (you don’t need to go all the way through). Bake for 40-45 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately sprinkle dough with granulated sugar. While still hot, cut dough into 4 x 1 inch “fingers” and allow to cool in the pan. Store in an air-tight container


Tips and Thoughts:
I am somewhat lazy in that I don’t really like to grease baking bans. Instead, I use a Silpat liner (or you could use parchment paper) on a baking sheet and shape the dough into a free-form rectangle with my hands.
I have found that I enjoy these the most the day after they are baked because they are a little bit softer, and will last about a week in an airtight container.
A great thing about shortbread cookies is that they don’t contain eggs so they are great to make for someone with egg allergies or sensitivities.
You can really taste the butter in these cookies, so I recommend using the good stuff for optimal flavor.

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