Brown Sugar Shortbread

Until recently, I didn’t have much interest in shortbread. It was always the Girl Scout cookie that looked the least fancy so I didn’t ever try it. I didn’t think that something so simple could actually be good- so I went with the chocolate covered, peanut butter, caramel laden cookies instead.
I actually don’t think I tried shortbread until a few years ago when I did a play with a girl from Scotland who brought some on opening night. I couldn’t get over how perfect it was! Melt in your mouth, not too sweet perfect. The cookie has an almost flaky texture with a buttery crumb that makes it that much more irresistible. I’d love to make a batch of these to eat alongside a coffee or tea.
Another reason I love this recipe is how simple it is to make. I can almost guarantee you have all the ingredients on the very short list at home already, which means these can be made in a matter of minutes. You can cut them into any shape you want, sprinkle on a little extra sugar and there you go. These can, of course be dipped into chocolate and sprinkled with things, or even stuffed with frosting or ice cream, but they are so great as is, I’m not sure it’s even necessary!
Oh also- these cookies are being sold as part of a Virtual Bake Sale sponsored by Erin at The Spiffy Cookie. All proceeds go to benefit animals in need so stop on over and made a bid on these or any of the other lovely treats!

Brown Sugar Shortbread


  • 2 cups butter- softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour. Continue to beat with mixers until the dough just comes together.
  3. Sprinkle counter with the remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut dough into strips or rectangles. (mine were about 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick.) Prick with fork and place on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with sugar.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 4 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Adapted slightly from: AllRecipes


  1. Oh, how could you deny the wonderful-ness that is shortbread. I agree, it looks so incredibly easy to make but in reality, it’s quite hard. According to the professionals, you have to combine the ingredients until only just combined. Anything over is classified as ‘overworked’. I’ve watched so many baking shows with people making shortbread for shows where they’re judged and always surprises me when they get marked down.

    I really need to make some shortbread. Yours looks amazing and delicious. I love shortbread with a passion, it’s so incredibly tasty, all that butter (yum), and so crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth-delicious. I’ve seen people on said shows make lavender shortbread. Sounds aromaticly delicious, wouldn’t you agree.

    Also, we don’t have Girl Scout Cookies this side of the pond so can’t comment on them but lots of my US friends rave about them, something about a tagalong cookie.

  2. I always thought shortbread was so hard to make. I will definitely be trying this recipe out! Love your blog and I am your newest follower. xo

  3. I love shortbread. It’s one I tend to make only at Christmas because nobody else here likes it. I think though that I am making some for myself today :-)

  4. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ingredient list that short before. This is awesome! I’ve treid shortbread once before, but I didn’t really like it. However, I’m willing to give it another try, but only because I absolutely love brown sugar! :D

  5. I have yet to try shortbread. Mostly I’m afraid mine will not live up the to expectations laid by my Scottish in-laws. Some day I will get my hands on Grandma Haddow’s recipe. It would be even more wonderful if we could track down her shortbread mold. Best of luck on the bake sale! What a wonderful cause.

  6. Oh, I love a classic shortbread. Yours looks buttery and flaky, just how I love them! Cute little fork motif, too :)

  7. I LOVE shortbread. I’ve actually been going through many shortbread recipes lately trying to find the perfect one. I just ran out of brown sugar yesterday, but I can’t wait to try these!

  8. I’ve started using brown sugar in a lot more of my recipes.. this shortbread sounds awesome!

  9. Hmmm, no salt at all? Or did you use salted butter? I love the idea of brown sugar for shortbread cookies, I’m just thinking that regular shortbreads I’ve made before have some saltiness to bring out that wonderful buttery flavor (And I always bake with unsalted butter).

  10. I agree that sweet and salty is amazing- but nope- no salt in these. I didn’t use salted butter either…

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