Three simple tips to make the best shortbread cookies ever

Mastering a shortbread cookie, photo provided by Lauren DeFillippo and Suti Co
Mastering a shortbread cookie, photo provided by Lauren DeFillippo and Suti Co /

While some bakers might be an expert with the whisk, others might need a little more guidance around the mixing bowl. Whether it is the baking season or just a craving for a sweet bite, that deliciousness arrives on the plate because of the care and craft involved in the process. Creating the best shortbread cookies might be a quest of a lifetime, but these tips from Chef Andrea Uzarowski of Suti & Co can make any baker feel more confident behind the oven.

For many people, the shortbread cookie is one of the most versatile flavors. Beyond the food and beverage pairings, this style lends itself to a variety of applications. From a vibrant jam sandwiched between two pieces to a dip in chocolate with a touch of spice, one dough can make a variety of treats.

Chef Andrea Uzarowski of Suti & Co in Boulder, Colorado uses her family’s Danish recipe. Having been handed down through the generations, this tried and true dough impresses anyone who has been fortunate to enjoy one.

Although Chef Uzarowski is eager to welcome everyone to her bakery, she understands that sometimes home bakers want to improve their own craft. In that spirit, she has shared three tips that can make the best shortbread cookies.

best shortbread cookies
Mastering a shortbread cookie, photo provided by Lauren DeFillippo and Suti Co /

Bring on the butter

As many bakers appreciate, the best butter makes for the best results. Since each butter is different, Chef Andrea recommends a high quality, unsalted butter. Specifically, she said, “When you’re in the store, you can tell a high-quality butter by the label. Usually, any butter that describes itself as ‘European’ or ‘cultured cream’ will be a solid sign that you’ve found the good stuff.” In many cases, a French butter with low moisture content is a smart choice.

Focus on the temperature

Since baking is a science, it is imperative to know the temperature. From the beginning to taking it out of the oven, every aspect needs to be precise.

As Chef Andrea said, “A big mistake people can make with shortbreads is starting with cold butter in the dough. That will totally mess up the consistency. The butter should be room temperature when you’re mixing it in, but then on the contrary, the dough itself should be cold before you cut into it. You can just throw the dough in the refrigerator until it is cold to the touch. This keeps the cookies from spreading and losing shape in the oven.”

When to add the dry ingredients

While savory chefs appreciate the concept of mise en place, everything in its place, bakers have a similar understanding as to completing each step. Following that order is imperative. Otherwise, the shortbread cookie could be dry and no one wants a dry shortbread cookie.

Chef Andrea said, “When people tell me their cookies have turned out dry, my first question is usually, ‘What ingredients did you use other than flour, sugar and butter?’ When you add dry ingredients, like cocoa powder, to a basic shortbread recipe, it’s best practice to then add another ingredient that has moisture, like chocolate chunks. This will keep your cookies from getting chalky.

With these baking tips any home baker is on the path to mastering the best shortbread cookies ever. Wouldn’t it be nice to have everyone cheering over the perfect treat served on the plate?