5 Ingredients or Fewer

Ritz Cracker Shortbread

December 14, 2020
11 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.
Author Notes

An almost classic shortbread. But instead of all-purpose flour, we’re calling in pulverized Ritz crackers. Unlike AP, this foundation is flavorful in its own right, yielding a shortbread that’s exponentially more buttery, salty-sweet, and craveable, though from a distance no one will quite know why.

A few notes on the ingredients: I opted for confectioners’ sugar versus granulated for an ultra-flaky, ultra-tender cookie. The butter should be impressionable if you poke it with your finger, but not greasy or melty.

If you want to take this idea and run with it—go on, run like the wind! Swap in the same weight of saltines or Goldfish or pretzels, and report back after you do. —Emma Laperruque

Watch This Recipe
Ritz Cracker Shortbread
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • makes 16 cookies
  • 2 sleeves (about 200 grams) Ritz crackers
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (heaping if you’re feeling salty)
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at a cool room temperature, cubed
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Add the crackers to a food processor and run until a powdery flour forms. Pulse in the sugar and salt. Sprinkle the butter cubes on top and pulse again until a clumpy, lumpy, streusel-ish mixture forms—it shouldn’t turn into one big blob, but it should easily hold together when squeezed between your fingers.
  3. Dump the shortbread dough into an 8x8-inch baking dish. Use your hand to evenly flatten, then use a fork to prick all over.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden brown and dry to the touch. After you remove the pan from the oven, immediately cut the shortbread into 16 squares, then let cool completely before serving.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.