Here’s a simple, elegant shortbread cookie recipe using four ingredients. It accepts many lovely additions, including dried fruit, freeze dried berries, chocolate chips, and a light, flakey, finishing salt. The photo above shows basic shortbread cookies on the left and chocolate chips added to the cookies on the right.
Other flours will work as well, but I much prefer finely ground, blanched almond flour for this cookie. Cashew flour comes in a close second, because it has a texture and flavor similar to a light butter cookie, while the almond flour version has a crunchier bite. I also recommend either butter or a plant-based butter to give it the most authentic taste and gentle crumble. Because the plant-based butter I tested with uses coconut oil, I think coconut oil will work as well.
I prefer to use cookie cutters to get cookies as similar in shape and thickness. If you don’t have much time or cookie cutters, roll the dough into a cylinder shape (log shape), store it in the refrigerator or freezer, and then slice and bake shortbread cookies. A really cool option, if you’re rolling the dough into a log, is to roll the log in finely chopped nuts or dried fruit, chill, and then slice and bake.
In the photos I’m using a classic shortbread cookie cutter, but you can cut out cookies with any cutter and you can also imprint designs in the cookies. I use a combination of parchment paper and a non-stick mat to roll the dough out.
Try to make all the cookies about the same thickness, stay between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, or bake cookies that are of similar thickness on the same baking sheet. I like them on the thinner side closer to 1/8 inch thick but you can go to 1/4 inch thick if you like them on the thicker side. See all my recipe headnotes for more tips and recommendations.
Make sure to cover the dough well with plastic or wax paper and chill it in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can also freeze the dough for later. Enjoy!