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"I've played with this recipe since I was 14. There are a thousand possible variations!"
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Sweets


  • Oven


  • 2.5 cups Flour (swap: use half spelt flour for a rounder, nuttier taste)
  • 5/8 cup White sugar
  • Couple pinches of Salt
  • 2 sticks Unsalted butter, softened & cut into chunks


  • Preheat oven to 300ish degrees. Cooking hotter and faster will make crispier cookies.
  • In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt together.
  • Add chunks of butter and mix with your fingers until it all comes together in a ball.
  • Dump on a flat surface and slap, roll, or pound it out to about 3/8" thick. Thicker will be crumblier, thinner will be crisper.
  • Cut into whatever size or shape you wish - I vary sizes because it's funny - and place on a cookie sheet. They won't expand much so can be placed fairly close together.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes. They'll only take a little color on top but when the underside of one is golden brown, you're done.
  • Take off cookie sheet to cool, on the counter or rack or whatever. Store in a tin if you have one.


  • Use half spelt flour for a rounder, nuttier taste.
  • Replace 1/2 cup of flour with good cocoa powder, for chocolate shortbread.
  • To the dry ingredients, add chopped walnuts or hazelnuts or almonds or...
  • Add roughly chopped rosemary or some earl grey tea leaves. (Sage disappointed).
  • Chop a handful of fresh ginger and put it in a dry pan with half as much white sugar. Stir a few minutes until the sugar melts and coats the ginger. Cool and add to dough.
  • Experiment!