Bien Cuit Shortbread

May 16, 2019
54 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 hours 20 minutes
  • Makes 3 dozen cookies
What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

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    Babette's sous chef
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  • Jennifer Hardt
    Jennifer Hardt
  • mrslarkin
  • holly dart
    holly dart

104 Reviews

LisaD March 26, 2023
I made these and they are delicious! Although, it is difficult to push the dough into a 13 x 9 sheet pan, so I rolled it out to make it easier and more even. It took around 45 minutes to bake, and I let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Even though I was very gentle and cautious about removing it from the pan, the bars did crack. Cutting them was also a bit of a challenge. I feel like when I make them again, I would cool them in the fridge, and then cut them. I think they would be less crumbly, and it would be easier all around. The finished product is absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I chose to finish them with Fleur de sel, and that to me, was the perfect choice.
Ashley V. March 16, 2023
Oh. My. STARS this recipe is amazing. I’ve made 4 batches in 3 weeks, and here’s what I’ve discovered:

1) DO use Kerrygold or similar (one of the gatherings I brought these to dubbed them “butter sticks” because you can TELL when the good stuff is used.). Unless you’re watching your salt intake, DO use salted butter
2) another comment suggested using a second piece of parchment to press the dough into the pan. Yes. Do this.
3) no need to dock the dough, I have yet to have it puff up while baking, even when I forgot, 2 batches in a row. Now I skip it.
4) DO give the cookies 5-7 minutes to cool in the pan before transferring, they are very delicate while warm
5) transfer from pan to cutting surface like it’s an upside down cake - cutting board over pan, and invert. Carefully remove pan, and voila!
6) DO add flaky salt once transferred to cutting surface and while still as warm as possible. The salt puts them over the top in the most mysteriously delicate way possible
7) DO slice while still warm. But be delicate.
8) DO NOT let the batch size dissuade you from making them, even if you’re a party of one. The recipe halves beautifully (yet another reason to use metric!), and the biscuits keep for a week - if they last that long.
Barbara B. March 14, 2023
Just made them. These are so delicious! Thank you!
[email protected] March 12, 2023
Thank-you for the metric weight measurements! I have shifted my baking and bread making to weighing out the flour and butter (much more consistent than archaic imperial or cups) but there are maddeningly few recipes that come in weights. I also love the King Arthur flour recipes for this reason.
Robert F. March 12, 2023
Why or why can you not include measurements that do not require the cook to run to the nearest Sur La Table and buy a weighing scale? They are called "cups" and "tablespoons" and so on, and have been used in every cook book since Adam asked Eve to write down her recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Big disappointment, and egotistical to boot
Ashley V. March 16, 2023
Talk about egotistical, when it’s widely accepted that metric measurements are much more accurate than cups, tablespoons, etc. You can get an inexpensive scale on Amazon, and it’s not as if they take up much space.
Lora S. March 9, 2023
Not what I expected, nor my favorite style of shortbread. Made as written plus added 1 t vanilla. In my opinion, the texture is too flaky, and too dry despite the butter residue on my fingers. I had expected more of a melt-away style shortbread. I was dubious about the application of turbinado AFTER baking and was right, it just falls off. IMO, would be better sprinkled on top before baking, and just lift out the shortbread with the parchment sling, rather than turn out onto a board. I can certainly understand why this would appeal to many, it's just not for me. I'm glad the bakery was kind enough to share their recipe, and glad I tried it.
Ma_Faldine March 7, 2023
Is this recipe available in standard, non-metric measurements? I tried looking at a conversion chart, but it is still not that easy to decipher.
Sherry W. March 20, 2023
Please Ma_Faldine, you can get a scale for $10-$15 dollars and you will be amazed at how often you will use it.
Ma_Faldine March 22, 2023
Thank you. Julia Child's "The French Chef Cookbook" has a conversion chart.
soylette March 3, 2023
I loved this! I used quarter sheet pan and used a dough scraper to flatten out the top of my dough. I also added some anise seeds, vanilla bean scrapings and a bit of lemon zest to mine. So good! Also, I'm American, but I definitely prefer and appreciated the grams measurements (so I can just tare the bowl each time I add an ingredient instead of having to scoop and measure, bc I'm lazy that way)
Terry March 4, 2023
With the quarter sheet pan, how long did you bake your shortbread?
Lora S. March 9, 2023
I used the same pan, baked 58 minutes and was quite golden.
Babette's S. March 2, 2023
Too bad only metric measurement is provided. Come on Food52, you have the staff of testers. Have someone convert to USCS (US Imperial) & then test the recipe for accuracy, then edit this shortbread recipe to show both metric & USCS (US Imperial). Thanks.
Myron1101 March 4, 2023
Maybe Americans should learn the metric system since the whole world uses it
holly D. March 6, 2023
the only volume measurement given is in USCS - 1/8 of a cup.

Since the rest of the measurements for this recipe are weights not volume measurements, it should be easier and more accurate for anybody with a scale to make this recipe no matter where they live. I think most kitchen scales easily measure grams or ounces. This has been true of the only kitchen scales I have used, anyway. So, if you prefer to look at the measurements in ounces simply weigh it in grams and then press the button on your scale to change it to ounces.
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!
Steven W. December 20, 2022
Do you think pastry flour made a difference? This calls for AP flour.
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.
Steven W. December 20, 2022
So you didn't make "these" shortbreads!
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.... :)