Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins

We got this recipe from a 1983 issue of Cuisine Magazine and it is perfection. It wouldn't be Christmas without this treat. Prep time below does not include chilling time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Work cold butter with hands until soft and cream in the sugar. Mix flours and salt together and work into butter. Knead gently until soft (not oily) and forms a ball.
  2. Roll dough to 3/8-inch thickness on a cookie sheet, mark pieces with a ruler to make 1" x 2" cookies and prick each cookie with a fork three times. Chill dough at least one hour (but up to 48 hours is still OK).
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees and reduce heat to 275 degrees as soon as you put the cookies in the oven.
  4. Cut cookies apart and place on baking sheets. Bake in center of the oven at 275 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes.
Most Helpful

I have been looking for this recipe for years! I seemed to have lost the original article in a move and my family has been missing this delectable treat.

maxsteph8231 December 10, 2012

I made a half batch of this ingredient-friendly recipe & I found it more prep-friendly than a prior reviewer. I used all-purpose flour only & it did not hurt the delicious result. I just dropped the dough into a flat baking pan & rolled it to the edges & an even thickness w/a glass (an easy method as the dough is buttery & did not stick to the glass). I scored the dough by eye-balling the desired size & chilled it overnight. Cutting the well-chilled dough & pricking the cookies w/a fork the next day took only minutes. These are very good cookies for a basic shortbread purist, but I made a 2nd half batch using vanilla which would have been a 5 star flavor result for us. I suggest including vanilla (or even lemon) extract as a recipe opt add. This recipe is sure to be repeated, so thx for sharing it w/us.

twissis May 30, 2013

I have been using the recipe from Cuisine's December 1983 issue every year since in came out. I believe the article was called "My Father's Shortbread" and was a wonderful article. A couple of years ago, a finally broke down and started using a mixer instead of doing every step by hand! While the recipe is AWESOME, it is not particularly easy (the only thing keeping it from getting 4 stars). It is, however, the best thing you'll ever eat! I used to re-reasd the article every year as a ritual, but the magazine finally fell apart after our last move...and I think it was misplaced. As I recall, the original recipe calls for 4 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour, 1 lb. unsalted butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. I like the AP flour instead of the cake flour for the extra crunch. And I use the full teaspoon of salt plus salted adds a nice flavor and it is the only preservative in the recipe. Plan on spending an afternoon for all the chilling and slow cook times...rolling out the dough, getting the thickness right, measuring the 1" x2" pieces and pricking them is the real labor in this recipe (now that I use a mixer). The end result is worth it, though...make a couple of batches while you have the time set will start getting nudges from friends and relatives every year as Thanksgiving approaches. I've had to tell people that I can only make shortbread between Halloween and Christmas...otherwise, I would never get any sleep!

mattmmille November 01, 2011