Pat-in-the-Pan Shortbread

  • Total Time35 mins
  • Makes16 servings
Pat-in-the-Pan Shortbread

No rolling required! The plain version is delicious and buttery; or fancy it up with one of the variations below.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp cake and pastry flour


  • In a bowl, beat butter until smooth, then beat in sugar and salt until well mixed. Stir in flour in three additions, beating just until mixed between each.

  • Turn mixture into a lightly greased 8 in (2 L) square baking pan and, using flour-dusted fingers, press to an even thickness to fill pan. Using a fork, pierce dough every few inches. Generously sprinkle with coarse sugar.

  • Bake in preheated 325°F (160°C) oven until golden around edges, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife around the edges to loosen, and cut into squares. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then store in an airtight container, in a cool place, for up to 1 week. To make ahead: Bake cookies, cool fully and freeze up to 1 month.

  • Chocolate Citrus Shortbread Variation: Stir 1 cup (250 mL) mini chocolate chips and 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange or lemon zest into dough with the last addition of flour.

  • Savoury Cran-Rosemary Shortbread Variation: Stir 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) chopped dried cranberries into dough with the last addition of flour. Replace coarse sugar with small sprigs of fresh rosemary randomly pressed into dough before baking.

  • Makes 16 squares.

  • In 1 square: 134 calories, 1 g protein, 9 g fat, 13 g carbs, 11 mcg folate, 1 mg iron

Pat-in-the-Pan Shortbread
This article was originally published on Nov 01, 2010