Traditional Shortbread

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This is a tale about Traditional Shortbread, Bigelow Tea and College…and how they belong together. My daughter Cassi is attending college in Florida, and school is about to start. So like any loving mother who’s child is a million miles away would do, I am putting together a Back to College Care Package to help her get through those crazy college study sessions…..

Traditional Shortbread on a rose decorated plate beside a cup of tea

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It all started on a hot and muggy day in Iowa, when a mom headed out to a wonderfully air conditioned Target store nearby. Because she has the store memorized, she was able to head straight to the Coffee/Tea aisle and find a collection of Bigelow Teas that would be perfect for her care package!!

The mother had a plan in mind, and bought every flavor that she could. It has been many years since the mother attended college herself, but she remembered those late nights cramming studying for tests. Lots of caffeine was going to be needed! Being a mother, she knows that there are times that you also need a good night’s sleep, so decaffeinated tea was going to be needed as well…..

Traditional Shortbread and Bigelow Tea | | #TrendTea #shop

Since this mother had been raised by British parents, she knew Traditional Shortbread would be perfect along side her daughter’s tea…..

Traditional Shortbread on a plate decorated with roses sitting beside a cup of tea

So she finished her shopping trip at Target, where she also found a travel mug {for the daughter that is late for everything}, a Spanish to English dictionary {because her daughter is fluent in French, NOT Spanish}, some ink pens, some of her daughter’s favorite treats {to keep her going late into the wee hours of the morning},and a dinosaur {because her daughter hates Jurassic Park…and dinosaurs 😉 }

The mother then came home and started to prepare the delicious Traditional Shortbread.

How to make Traditional Shortbread:

First she preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Sprayed the shortbread pan, or 9-inch baking pan, with cooking spray and beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy…..

Traditional Shortbread butter

Then she added the flour, and mixed it together until it held together…..

Traditional Shortbread crumbles

Then she placed the dough into the prepared pan, and pat it down until smooth…..

Traditional Shortbread pan

It was then baked for 25 to 30 minutes until set and lightly browned…..

Traditional Shortbread baked

She allowed the shortbread to rest in the pan for 5 minutes. She then ran a thin knife around the edges to loosen them, and flipped the shortbread out onto a wire cooling rack…..Traditional Shortbread cut

She then cut the shortbread into wedges using a sharp, chef’s knife. The mother’s shortbread is already scored by the pan, so that made things easy. She allowed the shortbread to cool, and then tried a piece with her favorite Bigelow Tea {for quality control of course}…..

traditional shortbread on a plate sitting beside a cup of tea and a box of english breakfast tea

Once the mother knew that the Traditional Shortbread was perfect, it was time for her to assemble the care package for her daughter. She wanted the tea to be stored in a cute container that her daughter would enjoy, one that would take up less space than all of those boxes! So she bought a cute tin and placed lime green stickers on top… CASSI’S TEA {just in case any of the villagers were confused}…..

Cassi's Tea | | #TrendTea #shop

She then started placing all of the items together in a box for shipping {thankfully, not by horse and carriage}…..

box filled with cookies, teas, pens and snack bars

The mother so wishes that she could be there to see her daughter’s face when she finds the dinosaur underneath the Earl Grey Tea!! No matter, she is sure that she will hear all about it…..from her daughter’s roommate. 😉  THE END

How to decorate traditional shortbread:

The end of the story, but not this post. If you would like to decorate your shortbread like I did above, simply sprinkle some edible glitter into a small bowl and add a small amount of vodka to create a thin paint. You want it thin enough to spread, but not so thin that the color disappears…..

Traditional Shortbread paint

It is a tiny amount of vodka, and it is used because it evaporates very quickly! Use a clean paint brush {mine is specifically for painting cookies}, and paint your design onto your shortbread. My pan made the design, I just followed along with the paint…..

Traditional Shortbread painted with edible glitter sitting on a rose decorated plate


Just have fun with it, it doesn’t need to be perfect. 😉  Now grab a cup of your favorite Bigelow Tea.


more delicious cookie recipes that travel well:


Traditional Shortbread on a rose decorated plate beside a cup of tea

Traditional Shortbread

This Traditional Shortbread is simple to make, there are only 3 ingredients, and they are loaded with flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British, Irish
Keyword: traditonal shortbread recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 290kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson


  • ¾ cups unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • edible glitter and vodka paint optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a shortbread mold or 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Cut or beat in the flour. If dough is too crumbly, add an additional 1 to 2 Tablespoons of softened butter until it holds together.
  • Place dough into pan and smooth out evenly.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Run a thin knife around the edges to loosen them, then flip shortbread out onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Using a sharp chef knife, cut into wedges.
  • Allow to cool and serve with your favorite tea.


If you would like to decorate your shortbread:
Mix edible glitter and a small amount of vodka together in a small bowl. You want it thin enough to "paint", but not so diluted that there is no color. Use a clean paintbrush to paint on your design.


Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 38mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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  1. Oh, wow. Now the next part of the story is that SOMEONE (who might just live in the same city as your daughter) 😉 will wait patiently and intercept this fabulous package in order to have that amazing shortbread AND all of that awesome tea.
    But if she DOES do that, she’ll leave the dinosaur on the doorstep. 😉


    1. Oh NO…we must alert the castle to be prepare to battle the diabolical Queen Claire who is trying to steal the treasure!! Perhaps a fairy Godmother will appear and turn the dinosaur into a fire breathing dragon that will protect the treats and the princess from the Queen…..

  2. So cute! I too am a mom of a college student and understand the need of GOOD care packages and this one is wonderful!!! She is going to love it!!

    1. Thank you so much Carrie! I bought that shortbread mold several years ago on ebay. It is a discontinued pan, but there are several other really pretty designs on Amazon. 🙂

  3. Lisa, what a fun story and such a great college care package! I love shortbread and yours looks so fantastic, absolutely perfect with a cup of tea! Thanks so much for sharing – pinning and tweeting! Have a happy Friday!

  4. Aww, this is such a cute story, Lisa! I love that you put this care package together for your daughter. Shortbread cookies are always a win, especially when they are as cute looking as yours! I love that mold.

    Great recipe. Pinned! Hope you have a great weekend, Lisa!

  5. Hahaha – you are evil!!! I love it!! 😀 I can’t wait to hear all about her finding that dinosaur!! That shortbread looks so awesome – and I love the ones you put glitter on! So cute! Cassi is gonna love that care package – minus the dinosaur, of course! 🙂

    1. I can be a bit demented at times! 😉 She thought it was really funny, and claims to not be scared of Jurassic Park anymore…we’ll have to see about that. I might have to send her a movie poster for her room for Christmas, LOL. She did love the shortbread and was so excited about the box…so that made me really happy!!

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