Bake

Bien Cuit Shortbread

by:
May 16, 2019
39 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 hours 20 minutes
  • Makes 3 dozen cookies
Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  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.

  • Jennifer Hardt
    Jennifer Hardt
  • mrslarkin
    mrslarkin
  • Megan Wagner
    Megan Wagner
  • Kayla
    Kayla
  • Katheryn's Kitchen
    Katheryn's Kitchen
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78 Reviews

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.
1c=137g
1T=8.56g
1t=2.85g
1/2t=1.43g
1/4t=0.71g (and the box says 1/4t=0.7g)

So, 3.5g is about 1-1/4t of Diamond Crystal.
 
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: https://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Wood-Pastry-Pizza-Roller/dp/B000HK2DNA/ref=asc_df_B000HK2DNA/?
 
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.
 
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
 
judy May 25, 2019
Good recipe. I can't eat most confectioner's sugar, so I used superfine instead. Really nice shortbread. I made a second time using 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 AP flour, and it was equally good. Used this second recipe for a base for key lime pie, adding some grated lime peel to it. So good. Thanks. I'll keep this one!
 
Leila R. May 26, 2019
I buy confectioners sugar from Amazon, nothing but finely powdered sugar no corn starch.
 
Cliff June 6, 2019
Isn't confectioner's (powdered) sugar simply granulated sugar ground to a powder?
 
Babs I. June 6, 2019
I have never seen confectioners sugar without some kind of starch added. Most organic has potato starch instead of corn. The consistency is slightly different in the package; I always sift it.
 
Leila R. June 6, 2019
Usually powdered sugar has corn starch in small quantity to keep the sugar from clumping. Organic powdered sugar has the addition of tapioca flour.
 
KMicken June 9, 2019
Yes! I no longer buy powdered sugar but make it just as you suggested in the blender (it's a VitaMix, so the process works amazingly well). Like magic!
 
Katheryn's K. May 23, 2019
I just made, delicious but used a 9 x 9 pan, the 13 x 9 was just too big, the shortbread would have been too thin and frankly I was having a hard time pressing it out to that size so plopped into the 9 x 9. Glad used the parchment paper because it made it easy to move from pan to pan. The shortbread is about 1/2 inch thick and baked in about 60 minutes in my oven, a nice golden brown all over.
 
Katheryn's K. May 23, 2019
Oh and I chilled for just over an hour, came out very firm and then baked, I personally don't think it needs to chill overnight. It's very flaky and crunchy. Also I sprinkled with sugar right after it came out of the oven, seems a good time, so that the sugar sticks and not as messy as waiting until after it's cut.
 
Katheryn's K. May 23, 2019
Oh and I only let chill for about an hour, it was very firm and baked up beautifully, crunchy and tender. I also added the sprinkling of sugar as soon as it came out of the oven, seemed a neater way to do, so that there wasn't sugar everywhere.
 
Katheryn's K. May 23, 2019
Sorry I didn't see my comment so commented again.
 
mangoonanapple May 23, 2019
Hi Katheryn, I suspect it has a little bit to do with French tradition too. Normally shortbread dough would be refrigerated overnight (up to 18 hours is advised) to 'age'. In some recipes because vanilla bean powder or orange zest is added, it allows the flavour to develop as well. Also, when the shortbread was made into logs and slices, the chefs might use a little bit of moisture (just a liiiiiittle bit!) to help the sprinkling sugar adhere before baking.
 
Carolyn J. May 24, 2019
Thanks for the suggestion.
Has anyone else used the suggested 9x13 successfully? I generally trust Food52 recipes & assume the pan size was adequately tested. Anyone else already tried the recipe & have insight?
 
Katheryn's K. May 24, 2019
Just make sure you use the parchment paper and you can easily move to another pan if you don't like the 9 x 13. I measured mine when finished and it was about 3/4 of an inch thick in the 9 x 9 and baked in the alloted time, so I think it's a mistake in the recipe. Try pressing it out in the 9 x 13 and see how you feel about it. Maybe I was just too lazy to try and spread thin enough to fill out the 9 x 13 pan. I believe the baking time will be less if spread thin in the 9 x 13 so be careful and put your timer on for 45 mins. and see where you are at.
 
MaureenAspen May 24, 2019
I made it in 9X13 and it was too thin and got overdone in only 1 hour in the oven.
 
tia May 24, 2019
I'm trying it tonight; it patted in ok. I think it would have been easier if I'd turned off the mixer before the dough started to ball up, though. The well-mixed but still crumbly texture would have poured more easily and then I could have patted it down. I'll post again tomorrow once I've baked it.
 
tia May 25, 2019
Well, crap. I wish I'd seen this earlier!
 
tia May 26, 2019
OK, I ended up putting it into a smaller pan; there's one comment from earlier saying it was way overdone in a 9x13. I didn't have a 9x9, but I did have an 11x7. It was done at 1 hour.
 
Kayla May 28, 2019
I used 9x13 and it worked perfectly.
 
3jamigos June 12, 2019
I used a 9x13 and had no problem with spreading the dough to fit. It ended up about 3/8 inch thick.
 
Brian May 23, 2019
Very good! For those who lack a working scale, the ingredients are
1 & 1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 & 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup raw sugar for sprinkling
 
Nancy.keppler May 23, 2019
Thank you Brian.
 
Gloria P. May 24, 2019
Thank you. I would have had trouble with the conversion.
 
MaureenAspen May 24, 2019
Thank you. I was going to ask for conversions and also directions if a hand mixer. One of these days I'll get a stand mixer.
 
jan May 25, 2019
thank you for the volumes
 
jdpratt47 May 26, 2019
Thank you Brian. I was just getting ready to look up the conversion table. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
 
Brigitte L. May 27, 2019
Another thanks to you.
 
Maddie May 28, 2019
Thank you Brian!
 
margefromTN June 6, 2019
Brian, I think I love you. thank you. My scale is not calibrated properly, refuses to reset correctly and I threw it away. I guess I showed it!
 
Karen A. June 6, 2019
Thanks Brian!
 
Patricia B. June 6, 2019
Thank you!!!
 
Karen A. June 7, 2019
thank you!
 
gail G. June 7, 2019
Bless you!
 
Donna G. June 11, 2019
Thank you, thank you!

 
Diane G. August 6, 2019
Bless you Brian!!!! You have made my year!!!!!
 
Madeline W. October 24, 2020
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
 
BerryBaby May 23, 2019
How does the raw sugar adhere to the shortbread?
 
Carolyn J. May 23, 2019
I'm wondering the same? How does it stick?
And prep time listed as 10 hrs?
 
Christine C. May 23, 2019
I suspect the 10 hour prep time includes the inactive prep of chilling the dough overnight :)
 
Trevor K. May 23, 2019
The dough needs to chill overnight so the time is listed as ten hours. The raw sugar will stick after baking because of the moisture and heat. Much like when you salt a chocolate chip cookie that has come out of the oven.
 
Carolyn J. May 23, 2019
Oy, read the recipe twice through & never noticed the overnight chill! Thanks, will slow down next time!
 
Katheryn's K. May 24, 2019
I sprinkled on as soon as it came out of the oven and it adhered well, the heat made it stick. This is some of the best shortbread I have ever had. I loved whipped and have made a few variety of the slab type but this recipe is my favorite.