Simple Crunchy Shortbread

  • Author: Dana Gerard
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 36 large or 60 + small 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: English
Simple shortbread can be any shape, any flavor. Recipe and ideas at

If you like crunchy cookies, you’ll love this twice baked Simple Crunchy Shortbread. Remember this shortbread ratio: 3:2:1; 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, 1 part sugar. Top with a sprinkling of raw sugar or dip baked bars in chocolate.


  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and warm (8 oz/226 gm)
  • *1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 oz/90 gm)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or a few pinches of flaky sea salt
  • 2 cups flour (10 oz/284 gm)
  • Optional toppings:
  • raw sugar
  • white sugar mixed with citrus zest or spice like cinnamon
  • chocolate melting discs for decorating cookies
  • Mix ins before baking: 1/2 – 1 cup chopped dried fruit, nuts or candy
  • *for a less sweet cookie use less sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together melted warm butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour and stir just until flour disappears. (The dough should have the consistency of clumped, wet sand.) Pat dough into prepared pan. Use an offset spatula or plastic spatula to smooth the dough evenly across top, sides and into corners of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest between 2 – 24 hours. (The longer, the better.)
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower third of oven and preheat to 300 F. Grease a 9 x 13 brownie pan or half sheet pan and line with parchment.
  3. Remove plastic wrap and bake shortbread 45 minutes.
  4. While cookies bake, grease and line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  5. Remove cookies from oven but keep oven on at 300 F.
  6. Lightly spread the surface of shortbread with raw or flavored sugar if using. Cool 15 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or cookie/biscuit cutter, slice into squares, rectangles or wedges and place on the lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack.
  7. When completely cool, dip any plain cookies in chocolate, if desired.
  8. Place cooled cookies in a covered container. Cookies will last up to two weeks or more.
  9. The amount of cookies will depend on the size you make them.
  10. Makes about 36 large wedges or 60 + small (1 – 2 inch square) cookies.
  11. Prep and cook time does not include resting time.
  12. ENJOY!


Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert and Smitten Kitchen’s twice-baked shortbread