Monday, September 19, 2011

Apricot Shortbread Cookies

Nothing like a crispy, flaky, buttery shortbread cookie, my favorite pairing for a hot cup of cafe con leche! The classic shortbread is a very simple recipe with just 3 main ingredients: sugar, flour and butter. Yet, it took me quite some time to bake a batch of perfect shortbread cookies. From Sandra Lee's to a bunch of other recipes, my experiments have been disastrous flops! The cookies either flattened out like a chip or turned too brown too fast. I wrote to several expert bakers, read a million baking blogs, did a zillion Google searches and then finally shelved the cookie project!

After 1.5 years, I came across Brady Evans' shortbread cookies last week on Honest Cooking. I decided to give this one more chance and flagged it for a Sunday project. Success! at last!! Victory is (indeed) "sweetest" when you've known defeat! :)) 

Apricot Shortbread Cookies
Recipe courtesy: Brady Evans

All purpose flour - 2 cups, sifted
Confectioner's sugar - 3/4th cup, sifted
Unsalted butter - 1 cup, at room temperature
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Dried apricots - 1/2 cup, finely chopped

In a bowl, add flour, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Mix with a spatula only till the butter is all mashed up and all the ingredients are combined into a loose dough. Now, add the apricots, give it one final mix and wrap the dough in a plastic wrap. The dough has to be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before baking.

Round cookies: hand roll the wrapped dough into the shape of a log (2-3" diameter) and place it in the refrigerator. Remove after an hour, cut out 1/4" slices and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure there is about 1" space between, shortbreads don't expand too much!

ready to go into the oven!
Other shapes: flatten the dough in the wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Remove and cut out desired shapes using cookie cutters and bake.

Baking instructions: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 minutes. I kept them for 3 more minutes since they didn't change color. But shortbreads are supposed to be 'nearly' white when baked, in fact they are baked at a low temperature to avoid browning!  Also, baking them any longer might burn the base. Also, if your cookies feel too soft after 15 minutes, don't worry, pull them out and let them cool for at least 20 minutes, they will become firmer after they cool.

soft, flaky and if I may say so myself ... delicious!!!


  1. Cookies look amazing!! Love the pictures.

  2. I am so glad this recipe fulfilled your craving! I love it so much when people return back to comment on the recipes they've made. Your pictures are very nice.

  3. Thanks Brady and thanks for a very easy recipe :)

  4. Amazing recipe and awesome cookies! Tried it yes'day,such a simple recipe and blissfully delicious...Thanks a lot Anuja and thanks Brady! I simply loved 'em..think I had left them in the oven a wee bit longer,cos the base was slightly browned,and also the apricots atop the cookies turned a bit brown too! Hence I did'nt get the bright color as in ur pics...Anyways this is jus my first attempt at shortbread cookies,so points noted for the next time! Thanks again :)

  5. how did i miss this post....looks great! luv ur picture


Welcome to our food blog. Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions for improvements in a recipe. If you try any of the recipes here, please send us your feedback or pictures and we will post it on the blog.