Mom’s Basic Shortbread Dough

I like to think my mother was quite good at a lot of things. In saying that, I think she was really good at sorting and storing her recipe collection. I always remember a plastic green box, along with a fancier wooden box, sitting near the stove with index cards full of recipes. From Christmas punch to Yorkshire pudding, everything was there. Easily readable, and always straight forward. I don’t think I have the patience now a days or the necessary hand writing skills to make such elegant cards. Most of the cards are stained with baking fats, or smudges of chocolate, but a few were rewritten before she passed and left in a clean, glorious fashion. Just like this one.

I know it’s a matter of opinion, but these are really good. Warm or cold. With rum or eggnog. For dessert or for a snack. Plus, they always make me think of my mom. Which at this time of year, is a present in itself. Love.

Basic Shortbread Dough (in my mom’s words)
1.5 cups soft butter
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp salt

In a beater bowl, combine all ingredients. Work with hands.
Shape all the dough in 1 inch balls
Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 2″ apart.
Flatten balls with fork.
Bake at 300F for 20 minutes
Let cool 10 minutes before carefully removing to racks.
Store in tight fitting container.
Makes about 4 dozen.

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16 thoughts on “Mom’s Basic Shortbread Dough

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe!
    When my Mom died a few years ago, my brother stole her recipe box – so I haven’t had “her” shortbread cookies since.
    I will definitely give this one a try (they sure look like my Mom’s!)

  2. Likewise Barb. It’s always a joy to dig through old recipes.

    Your welcome fojoy. Let me know how they work out. And hopefully you’ll have that recipe box back one day. 🙂

  3. I have been trying a different shortbread recipe every year since I cant remember when. I didn’t have a tried and true version that I wanted to go back to over & over, this year I tried yours and so far rave reviews on the taste and the dough was so nice to work with! I almost dare to say that this could be the version I have been hoping to find for so long 🙂 Thanks you for sharing!!

  4. Pingback: Kraft Recipe For Joy – Chocolate Shortbread Cookies « eating is the hard part

  5. Thanks for this recipe which I look forward to making and eating in great quantities! I love shortbread more than any other cookie. However, I think it would be charming if you changed the name from “Basic Shortbread” to one that includes your mom’s name. 🙂 That way, when I serve these on Christmas day, I can share the story with my family. (And some of the comment’s!)

    When I read Fojoy’s comment about how her brother stole her mom’s recipe box I almost cried. There are five kids in our clan and if anyone of us took my mom’s recipes there would be war! I guess I’m going to have to spend some time scanning her recipes into a PDF file for my siblings and me so there isn’t any civil disobedience!

    Happy Holidays,
    Annie Kolatkar
    San Diego, CA

  6. Hi Chris,

    I lost alot of my recipes when facebook zapped my notes clear.. I had copied alot on there and never bothered keeping copies for myself.. big regret.. I dont have my moms shortbread recipe, I guess when her friends starting bringing some over for Dad she just didnt do it anymore. I love cooking and baking, wish I had gotten more into the baking when my mom was still alive… This recipe looks awesome and your story about your mothers recipe box just makes it a more appreciated delight. I will be using this recipe from no on and thinking of your mothers recipes boxes… would be nice to see a pic of them one day. Greetings from a Canadian living in Germany. Sally

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