Saturday, December 17, 2011

nana's shortbread cookies.

Everyone has a Nana or Grandma recipe that, to them, is the best in the world. One of my nana's "best in the world" recipes is her shortbread cookies that she makes every year at Christmas time. Now, I'm sure there are some out there that would be willing to fight me to the death on this one, and to them I say: bring it. I'll come out guns a'blazing.

These remind me of my childhood, my nana, and Christmas. They're pretty special to me.

And why, you ask, should you make these?

For starters, they are the butteriest, crumbliest, most delightfully simple and classic shortbread cookies I've ever experienced. 

Old-fashioned, delicately flavoured and not-too-sweet they are an uncomplicated, wonderful treat that will literally melt in your mouth.

Secondly, they are quite seriously the easiest thing I've ever made.

I know everybody says that about everything, but these actually have, like, 2 steps and 4 ingredients.

Flour, butter, icing sugar and cornstarch. That's it, that's all.
Got that in your pantry already? 

Thought so.

Mix em all together in a bowl with your hands (but don't over-knead, as my nana warns, or the cookies will come out tough!) til you have light, fluffy dough that can be packed and rolled out into a sheet on a floured surface.

From there you can use cookie cutters, or just make random little balls with your hands like we did (imperfection is the new perfection!) to put on a baking sheet and pop into the oven. We sprinkled them with coarse sugar beforehand, too.

Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. 

Bring out, let cool, and enjoy with someone as special as my almost-95-year-old Nan...

... who complained about her hair not being done for these photos. 

We'll have you know that it's usually much nicer than this. 


Nana's Shortbread Cookies
makes about 24 cookies

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 lb butter

To do:

Sift together corn starch, icing sugar and flour.
Blend in butter til soft, fluffy dough forms.
Shape as you like and place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
Bring out and try not to eat the whole pan at once!


  1. This is such a great post, recipes handed down from generation after generation are just wonderful. This post really brings back memories and the heart of Christmas which is family. Your Nana is awesome, I must try these cookies. She reminds me of my my own nana, where everything she made was just sooo good!.. :)

    Thank you so much for the recipe and I hope you have a merry christmas!

  2. Shortbread cookies are my favorite!!
    I hope to one day have the pleasure of meeting your nana. She looks like a wonderful lady.

  3. Thanks guys~!!! These are so easy and for 20 of the 30-ish minutes they take to make you can basically do whatever and just randomly check back on them in the oven. So easy. Doooo it! and yes, nana is the definition of cool.

  4. Hi, found you through foodspotting. Well written. Feel the love. Thanks, The Mouse

  5. Thanks so much! Glad you felt it and hope you come back soon!