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Thick Buttery 4-2-1 Shortbread Cookies

Updated on September 24, 2017
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green enjoys whipping up tasty dishes in her home kitchen. She's received many requests for her recipes and is happy to share.

Golden Shortbread Cookies to Die For


You'll Never Have to Hunt for the Recipe

This is one of the best recipes for shortbread cookies I've come across. The slightly crispy texture and rich taste is unbeatable.

The "4-2-1" is the key to remembering how to make these cookies. You'll never have to search for the recipe because, as you may have guessed, each number represents an ingredient.

If you just can't get enough shortbread, this recipe yields thicker cookies and lots of them. There's no rolling out either, because you cut these cookies after baking. Truly, this is one of the easiest ways to make shortbread.

Ready to make these wonderful goodies? Read on for instructions and treat your family to a flavor fest.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 cups flour

Cream Butter and Sugar


So Simple, So Good

It seems a tad amazing that one can make cookies with just three ingredients but such is the magic of real butter. However, make sure your butter is room temperature before you get started but not melting.

You don't even have to use a conventional mixer to make these cookies, so clean-up is much easier. Simply grab a good-sized bowl and a wooden spoon and you are good to go.

Add Flour & Mix


As You Mix, Dough Starts to Form into a Ball


Once This Happens, Work With Your Hands, Kneading and Folding Dough Over


No Need to Grease Cookie Sheet

Because you are using butter, you don't have to worry about these cookies sticking to the pan.

Place Dough in Cake Pan & Roll Out to 1/2" Thickness

I use a cake pan, instead of using a cookie sheet because of the amount of dough. You want the sides on the cake, which helps in forming your thick cookies. I usually use a glass to roll out the dough in the pan. You do want to roll the top, so that it is uniform.

  • Prick all over with a fork.
  • If desired, make ridges on surface by pushing sideways with index finger. This adds a bit of eye-appeal to your cookies.

Ridges Give Cookies a Fancy Look


Baking Tip

Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven or double-pan to prevent over-browned bottoms.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: 2-3 dozen cookies.


  • Bake in a 325-300-degree oven until golden brown.
  • Keep checking for doneness.
  • Towards end of cooking time, you may choose to reduce oven heat slightly. This helps mixture to cook on the inside without getting overly browned on the outside.

How long you bake these cookies also depends on preference. You don't want the insides to be doughy, nor do you want them to be overcooked and bitter.


If you dislike having to roll out and cut cookies, you'll like this part: remove pan from oven and set to cool. When cooled, cut cookies into squares.

Hard to Resist



Cookies can be dusted with sifted icing sugar.

Why Not Make These?


Lots of Cookies

Because this recipe is so easy to remember and makes a good-sized batch of cookies, it's perfect around Christmas, when you need lots of goodies on hand but want something easy to whip up.

What do you think of these cookies?

See results
3 stars from 55 ratings of 4-2-1 Shortbread

© 2007 Athlyn Green


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