Make Ahead

Sugar Cone Shortbread

July 10, 2018
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 24 square cookies
Author Notes

Meet summer's perfect shortbread. I call them sugar cone shortbread, because, you guessed it, they're made out of sugar cones. They're rich, buttery, salty-sweet, toasty, and delightfully crumbly, with the flavor of the sugar cones front and center. And they couldn't be simpler to make: Use cold butter straight from the fridge, crush the sugar cones and make the dough in the bowl of a food processor, then press it directly into a sheet pan (no logs to form, chill, and slice; no rolling required). By scoring the shapes of the cookies with a knife before baking, they’re a cinch to cut and remove from the pan when they’re done.

You can enjoy them straight out of hand, but my favorite way to go? An open-faced ice cream sandwich, served in a dish. They’re so easy to make and and provide so many possibilities for toppings: hot fudge, sprinkles, chopped nuts, fresh berries, you name it.


What You'll Need
  • 6 sugar cones (90 grams) (about 3/4 cup once pulverized in the food processor)
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed (99 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (226 grams) salted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling over dough
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9 pan (or quarter sheet pan).
  2. Break the sugar cones into pieces with your hands and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt and pulse several times until well integrated. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly (about 15 to 20 seconds). Scrape down the sides and stir a few times, if needed. Add the vanilla extract, and pulse again until large, damp clumps start to form, about 10 to 15 seconds longer.
  3. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan, kneading it a few times if still crumbly. Using a flat-bottomed glass, measuring cup, or your hands, press the dough to form an even layer.
  4. Score the dough lightly with a knife, marking 4 rows by 6 rows to form 24 2-inch shortbread squares. Dock each bar once or twice with a fork. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the dough.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until shortbread is lightly browned all over and firm to the touch.
  6. When done, remove pan from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. While the shortbread is still hot, use a knife to fully cut the shortbread along the lines you scored prior to baking. Allow shortbread to cool completely in the pan. Once cool, the shortbread bars will break apart very easily. Store in an airtight container. They'll keep well for about 2 weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • EmilyC
  • JIll Zenti
    JIll Zenti
  • Toni
  • annacarr

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

6 Reviews

JIll Z. September 4, 2018
I am a little confused. What is a sugar cone?
EmilyC September 4, 2018
Hi Jill: a sugar cone is a type of ice cream cone—usually cylindrical in shape. Most ice cream cones are either sugar or cake cones. And then there are waffle cones, but those are much larger. Does this help?
JIll Z. September 4, 2018
Of course that makes sense. I feel silly now; I always order sugar cones instead of the cake cones. Thanks. I love your website.
Toni August 24, 2018
I was reading this and thinking that if it were made into a log and cut into circles, it would make some pretty cool ice cream sammies. I'm going to do that! Thanks for this fun recipe.
EmilyC August 25, 2018
Absolutely! I’ve made ice cream sandwiches with the little squares! If you go the slice and bake route, best to slice them very thinly. Let me know if you try them this way!!
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