Bien Cuit Shortbread

May 16, 2019
4 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 hours 20 minutes
  • Makes 3 dozen cookies
  • 302 grams unsalted butter
  • 93 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 3.5 grams kosher salt
  • 302 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup regular or raw sugar, for sprinkling
In This Recipe
  1. Cut the cold butter and reserve at room temperature to temper slightly. Line a 13x9-inch baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and flour in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few seconds to combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the cubed butter and mix on low speed until a smooth dough is formed and butter is fully incorporated. At first, the dough will look extremely flaky and dry; let it keep mixing and it will eventually come together into a dough.
  4. Dump the dough into the baking sheet ordish and spread it evenly to the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  5. The next day, heat the oven to 300°F. Dock the dough every inch or so with a fork. Bake until the shortbread is golden brown, 60-75 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn the shortbread out onto a cutting board, and slice into 4-inch x ¾-inch slices. Sprinkle with raw sugar and transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cathy
  • Jennifer Hardt
    Jennifer Hardt
  • mrslarkin
  • cine
  • Megan Wagner
    Megan Wagner

84 Reviews

Joan S. March 9, 2022
So glad you posted this recipe. Looking forward to making it tonight!
angela L. March 3, 2022
These turned out really yummy. Even my husband - who is nonplussed by Walkers - loved these. I made 1/4 of the recipe to bake in a loaf pan. I used a locally made non-European style butter. Reading the comments here, I stopped the mixer the second it came together (you can hear the change). I also used a 2nd piece of parchment to help smoosh the dough outward into the pan.

Took them out at 45 minutes since they were starting to brown. I cut them, decided they needed more baking and put them back in (and moved them one rack higher) for another 20. I'll probably do this again in the future since they turned out so well.
Debbie January 7, 2022
I've been making shortbread cookies for years with the same recipe. It is good. I also tried the "Ted Lasso" recipe that I found online. Again, it was good and better than my first recipe. Then I found this recipe. I bought the best butter and I bought pastry flour. This recipe takes a bit longer than the others and I was very frustrated with spreading the dough. It is very sticky and the parchment kept slipping. But it was worth all of the hassle. These are the best shortbread cookies I have ever tasted! I will only make these from now on. Enjoy!
Cathy December 21, 2021
This recipe makes the best shortbread!!
Jennifer H. May 23, 2020
I prepared these while dinner was in the oven the evening prior and baked up in the morning which means they rested overnight in the fridge for ~15 hours. I weighed all my ingredients and the proportions were perfect. After reading some of the other comments, I was a little hesitant to use the suggested 13x9 pan, but in the end there was no reason to sweat it. I used a lightly floured pastry roller to distribute the dough evenly in the pan and highly recommend if you don't already have one and plan to make this again. Once in the oven, I checked these at 45 minutes, 55 minutes, and then ended up taking them out at 60 minutes when they were a lovely golden brown. Upon turning out to cut, I trimmed 1/4" from all the outside edges before cutting them into rectangles and sprinkling with raw sugar. They taste rich and decadent and I daresay, the leftovers are even better two days later. Will definitely make these again!
Alicia May 11, 2020
Hello! Thank you for posting this recipe. I love shortbread and have several recipes that I love. That said, this is shortbread and I really had to give it a try! I made the dough yesterday and cooked it up today. I made two changes: I halved the recipe using an 8x8 pan and I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat. This turned out fantastic! It's a lovely caramel color, smells great, the texture is spot on and the taste is divine. I think some of the issues with the cooking times could be related to not letting the dough rest and cool the full amount of time. If the dough can't rest for the given time, you might factor that into the cooking time.
Terry May 1, 2020
Made this pretty much by the recipe, except didn't put raw sugar on top (didn't have any). Instead I sprinkled it lightly with Maldon flakes - very yummy and was a hit with family.
mrslarkin December 4, 2019
Boy, I didn’t like this recipe at all. Baked in a 9x13 pan for 60 min. Way too crumbly cookie. Super disappointed.
mrsshell December 1, 2019
Very good
judy October 4, 2019
Not a fan of powdered sugar. I used superfine granulated white sugar. Then added some ground ginger and chopped uncrystalized candied ginger (Trader Joe's) to change the flavor profile. Came out great. Nice recipe, and so far seems to be easy to adapt. Chai spice next time, ladies. Thanks for another great recipe.
Elizabeth September 21, 2019
Mmmmmm. Have made this several time...SO good! Have a batch curing in the fridge now...added some lemon zest and finely chopped rosemary. We'll see.... :)
cine August 17, 2019
since no one is answering things under the Questions yet, i'll try this here. i've been gluten free for 19 years but have just recently started using bob's red mill GF 1 to 1 Baking Flour.has anyone tried this and i'm wondering how many grams of flour would i use with this super light and fluffy flour? thank you!
LM August 2, 2019
With the exception of resting the dough for ten hours (I did 7.5 hours because I was short on time), I followed the recipe exactly as written. I used a 9x13 pan and baked my shortbread for 60 minutes. Came out perfect. The only thing I did change was I opted to sprinkle the raw sugar on the shortbread the minute it came out the oven. Currently making a second batch which I will rest 10 hours. Awesome recipe. And unbelievably easy to make. I shall miss you Walker’s and blue Danish Christmas cookie tin.
Joan W. June 23, 2019
Making this now in a 10.5x10.5 square, a little smaller than the 13x9 called for (110ish square inches instead of 117). The tips in the comments have been very helpful. Can’t wait to try the finished shortbread.

My scale doesn’t handle very small weights well (and doesn’t do half grams), so I looked up Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt and did the math based on the 1 cup amount provided.
1/4t=0.71g (and the box says 1/4t=0.7g)

So, 3.5g is about 1-1/4t of Diamond Crystal.
Hollis R. October 10, 2021
And 3.5g is 1/2t of Morton salt.
Teresa B. June 8, 2019
I just finished baking these. I used a 13 x 9 and to get the dough smooth, I used my fingers while wearing disposable cooking gloves. I then pressed with bottom of metal measuring cup. I baked 50 minutes, and wished I would have pulled them out at 45. The edges are crumbly as they are a bit too golden brown. They are very good and flakier and more tender than rather shortbread. I may add a bit more sugar next time--I'm still undecided.
bunten June 21, 2019
A pastry roller is a very useful and inexpensive gadget for pressing dough evenly into a pan. Available on Amazon, of course:
Jennifer September 12, 2019
Thanks, I hadn't seen one of these before and it looks very useful. Another case of the right tool making a job a lot easier.
Megan W. June 7, 2019
Pardon my ignorance, but what does "dock the dough" with a fork mean?? I've never heard that term.
Teresa B. June 8, 2019
It means to poke holes in the dough. The holes keep the dough from puffing up.
gail G. June 7, 2019
I am old and I love shortbread. I will spend some time with a calculator and write this down in my terms. I don't do grams. I have baked for 60 years and I do just fine with American measurements.(when I measure) My cookies and cooking are loved by many. I guess I am a cups snob just like some "fancy" bakers are gram snobs. Just curious, why did you list the sprinkles in a cup measurement? Or list it all both ways.
Diane G. August 6, 2019
I wondered about that same thing. Also, I really appreciate the measurements in cups and teaspoons also.
marilu December 31, 2020
My best guess is that the sprinkles aren’t a part of the “formula” that recreates the actual shortbread but rather a garnish on top. I guess there isn’t a need to be exact with the toppings.
J P. May 29, 2019
I just made these using a quarter sheet pan and they turned out beautifully. My only change was to check them at 50 minutes since my oven is not very well calibrated. They were a golden brown so I pulled them out of the oven and they were perfect. I sprinkled the sugar immediately and cut them after 5 minutes. These are wonderful and next time I will double the recipe and use a half sheet pan. More shortbread is always better than less!
Kayla May 28, 2019
Made these as soon after seeing this article as possible and the recipe did not disappoint. Followed instructions completely. Only change is that I did a light sprinkling of kosher salt over top with the sugar. Seriously, these things will melt in your mouth. Go. Make. Them. Now.
gail G. June 7, 2019
Oh my...must try the salted one.
Hollis R. October 9, 2021
Maldon sea salt flakes, as others have said, lightly sprinkled on top. I have lots.
JBee K. May 26, 2019
Why slow someone from rushing to make this super shortbread by listing amounts in grams especially for an "American" recipe? I'm not that sophisticated of a baker to own a scale but I can do the conversions. I have been making a well received shortbread for decades, so curious about this particular recipe. By the way, new to Food52 so perhaps most recipes are listed in grams/weights?
marilu May 26, 2019
Hi, jbee! I can only speak from my little experience as I’ve only just started baking as well. Although most of the recipes I’ve tried from food52 were not listed in grams, baked goods are sometimes different. Baking feels like such a science for me with exact measurements, esp when you’re wanting to duplicate a well-loved recipe from a bakery. I just recently purchased a scale and my bread baking game has gotten better because of it! Measuring grams with a scale is a lot more exact and has lead to more consistent goods (which is helpful for a beginner cook like me). I am a sucker for shortbreads!
marilu May 26, 2019
*led because both grams and grammar are important.
Evie V. May 26, 2019
You can buy a scale for $10 on Amazon. You’ll have precise measurements and since you can tare (set to zero) the scale you’ll dirty only one bowl. Win win
Sipa May 28, 2019
A scale should be a part of every kitchen and every digital scale I’ve used has grams and ounces. Btw there is nothing particularly American about shortbread.
Annie June 6, 2019
It would be nice, and not that hard, to list both grams and ounces. My scale goes between the two but it's a pain to switch.
Cliff June 6, 2019
It may not be a particularly American food item, but the recipe is being presented I would think to an American audience which is used to cups and tablespoons and teaspoons, etc.
Chap M. September 23, 2020
That's nonsense, food52 is wordwide, and the rest of the world is mostly metric. I do own some cups but if a recipe is not in grams I usually won't bother making it, just out of principle. Why dirty a cup with honey when you can just pour it straight in to your mixing bowl like magic and not have 15g left in the cup