Best Shortbread Cookie Base

This base works well for all-butter shortbread or rolled sugar cookies. Pairs well with Butter Caramel as a dipping sauce.

Adapted from a recipe provided by: The French Pastry School, Chicago, IL

Yield: See below
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus chilling if needed
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Total time: 42 minutes


  • 400 g Plugrá® European Style Butter, unsalted
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 32 g egg yolks, extra large
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 450 g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down bowl and add egg yolks and vanilla.  Continue beating on medium speed until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Mix half the flour and salt into the butter mixture, mixing on low speed until almost completely incorporated then add remaining flour and mix for 1 more minute.
  3. Remove the dough from the electric mixer, knead for a few turns. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour if it is too soft to roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and work with one at a time, keeping the others refrigerated.
  6. Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough to about 3/8″ thick and cut as desired following the instructions listed below.
  7. Bake the cookies until they are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Roll dough to 3/8” thick, cut into circles using a 2-inch fluted biscuit or cookie cutter.  Sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar before baking.  Makes 10 dozen cookies.

Filled Sugar Cookies

Roll as for Rolled Sugar Cookies.   After baking and fully cooling, top the bottom of ½ of the cookies with the jam of your choice (about 7 ounces per batch).  Place another cookie on top of the jam, baked side down to form a sandwich.  Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Rosemary Shortbread

Add 1 tbsp. dried rosemary to the flour before mixing with the butter mixture.  Divide the dough into 9 pieces.  Press or roll into 6-inch rounds and cut each round into 8 wedges. Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Pecan Shortbread

Roll the dough to 3/8” thick, cut into 1½ by 2-inch rectangles.  Gently press a pecan half into the center of each cookie.  Let cool completely after baking and drizzle with melted chocolate (about 6 ounces per batch).  Makes 7 dozen cookies.