Shortbread cookies

Shortbread or “pasta frolla” is a basic buttery and mildly sweet dough extremely versatile and easy to prepare: it can be used for cookies, pies, crostata…It can be topped and flavored following your taste: chocolate chips, sugar confetti, nuts, jam, chocolate spread, peanut butter are just some toppings you can choose from. Vanilla, orange, coconut, hazelnut, lemon will delicately modify the taste.

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I really like using the shortbread to bake cookies because butter + sugar + flour produce a tender/crumbly cookie that’s ridiculously easy to make and sooo good. Also, I like the cookies to be thick (1/2 inch) so that they do not dry out once baked.

My kids really love shortbread cookies, so I love playing with different cookie cutters and surprising them at breakfast with new cookie shapes.

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Here you are what you need for a big batch of cookies: 60 small cookies or 30 big ones (I baked three baking sheets full of small cookies…)

shortbread cookies ingred

How to proceed:

– Prepare the ingredients. Sift the flour.

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– in a food processor add the flour, a pinch of salt and the COLD butter cut in cubes. It is very important to use cold butter, not room temperature.

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– Let the food processor work for 2/3 minutes. The butter will partially mix with the flour forming a so called “wet sand” consistency. This is a very important phase to give the cookies a final lovely grainy texture.

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– transfer the buttery flour mix in a big bowl and add the orange zest, the orange extract, the vanilla extract, the egg yolks and the powdered sugar (sifted)

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– start mixing using a fork and when the yolks will be nicely mixed keep working the mix with your hands. The warmth of your hands will slowly melt the butter in the mix so that the dough will nicely come together.

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– transfer the dough on a flat surface and keep kneading it with your hands in order to obtain a uniform, elastic dough

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– wrap the dough in some parchment paper and store it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to get cold and firm

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– unwrap the dough and using a second foil of parchment paper on top roll the dough with a rolling pin and flatten it into a 1/2 inch layer

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– have fun using any cookie cutter shape that you like.

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– bake the cookies in the preheated oven at 400F/200C for 10 minutes. Enjoy!!!

Shortbread cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour 500gr.
  • 18 Tbsp butter 250gr.
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar 200gr.
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Prepare the ingredients. Sift the flour.
  2. in a food processor add the flour
  3. a pinch of salt and the COLD butter cut in cubes. It is very important to use cold butter, not room temperature.
  4. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie3.jpg
  5. Let the food processor work for 2/3 minutes. The butter will partially mix with the flour forming a so called “wet sand” consistency. This is a very important phase to give the cookies a final lovely grainy texture.
  6. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie5.jpg
  7. transfer the buttery flour mix in a big bowl and add the orange zest, the orange extract, the vanilla extract, the egg yolks and the powdered sugar (sifted)
  8. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie21.jpg
  9. start mixing using a fork and when the yolks will be nicely mixed keep working the mix with your hands. The warmth of your hands will slowly melt the butter in the mix so that the dough will nicely come together.
  10. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie12.jpg
  11. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie14.jpg
  12. transfer the dough on a flat surface and keep kneading it with your hands in order to obtain a uniform, elastic dough
  13. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie17.jpg
  14. wrap the dough in some parchment paper and store it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to get cold and firm
  15. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie18.jpg
  16. unwrap the dough and using a second foil of parchment paper on top roll the dough with a rolling pin and flatten it into a 1/2 inch layer
  17. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie24.jpg
  18. have fun using any cookie cutter shape that you like.
  19. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie26.jpg
  20. bake the cookies in the preheated oven at 400F/200C for 10 minutes. Enjoy!!!
  21. https://www.buonapappa.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/shortbread-cookie27.jpg

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pasta frolla

11 Comments

Did you make this recipe? Share the love, tag @buonapappa on Instagram and hashtag it #buonapappa I would love to see your creations!

  • Reply
    Joselin
    November 22, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Hello there 🙂

    I would love to make these cookies, but I do not have a food processor. Is there anything else I can use instead? Like a mixer?

    • Reply
      Barbara Lamperti
      November 24, 2015 at 4:50 am

      Hi Joselin!
      no problem. You can use a wooden spoon and a large bowl. It will take a bit more time, but it will work. Our grandmas didn’t have a food processor either and they baked shortbread cookies all the time 😉
      Cut the butter in small pieces, that will help!
      Ciao!! b

  • Reply
    Mike
    November 22, 2015 at 4:02 am

    These look delicious, I will definitely try them and report back. However I thought traditional shortbread cookies were made without eggs? I’ve used a recipe that calls for salted butter, so of course no salt added to the mix, 2 cups of flour, and just 6 Tb powdered sugar. It works, but of course you have to chill the dough a few hours so it can be rolled out.

    • Reply
      Barbara Lamperti
      November 24, 2015 at 4:48 am

      Hi Mike!
      The recipe I shared is the traditional Italian shortbread cookies one. I would not be surprised if in other countries the shortbread recipe is without eggs 😉 Let me know if you like the cookies and Thank You for watching!! b

  • Reply
    Amanda
    December 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    These look great!! I tried making them today but when I was taking them out of the fridge after 30 min to roll. The dough completely crumbled 🙁 Any suggestions on what to do? Thank you!!!

    • Reply
      Barbara Lamperti
      December 15, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      Hi! I’m sorry to hear that. Which kind of flour did you use? The butter was cold when you mixed it to the flour? To fix a crumbly dough my suggestion is to add one or two tablespoons of water to the dough. Knead it with your hands in order to mix the water well and hydrate the dough. The water will not change the flavor/texture of the cookies once baked like butter/oil/milk would. Let me know how it goes!! ciao, b

  • Reply
    Valeria
    June 3, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Hi ,

    Can this dough be made and stored for later use? Thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Barbara Lamperti
      June 9, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Yes! you can wrap it in some plastic paper and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or simply freeze it for up to 3 months. From frozen I suggest to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Ciao!! b

  • Reply
    Shortbread cookies recipe - lovefoodvideos
    November 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    […] Check out the ingredients’ list and the detailed procedure on my blog: https://www.buonapappa.net/shortbread-cookies/ […]

  • Reply
    Millie
    February 6, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Hi Barbara,

    May I know how to store these cookies and do they need any food desiccant and how long can I store these cookies for?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Barbara Lamperti
      February 23, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      I usually store them in an air tight container on the countertop for up to one week/10 days…but usually they are gone in less than one week.
      The air tight container prevents them from drying out. Ciao! b

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