Shortbread Squares

i have always had problems with maths – me and numbers don’t jive. i struggled through my school years when math was a compulsory part of the cirruculum and eagerly looked forward to shrugging it off when i entered university (of course, math confronted me in another form there – but thats another story). my biggest problem was not so much the lack of understanding of how to do the math, it was often the simpler process of working out the calculations with the numbers that would go off tangent – giving me the wrong answer. and it seems that this shortcoming of mine is still very much evident – as was seen by my careless computation of proportions when i was making these shortbread squares. i got this recipe from and decided that i would try it out for half the measure as a test run. all went well – until i started mixing in the flour and realised that it was far too dry. there didn’t seem to be enough butter to go around. upon checking the recipe again, i realised that i had halved the butter twice! i creamed up some more butter and formed the dough and baked it. what i got was crumbly, soft cookies that are quite tasty, but i do feel that they would have been much better had i used precise measures from the start. so, i will try this out again for sure (and post updates, if any) – and that time, i will be sure to have a calculator on hand 🙂

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn flour 

Making the Shortbread Squares:
Preheat oven to  170 deg C (325 deg F). Line your baking pan/dish (size given in the website is 11 x 15 x 1 1/2 inches) with parchment paper. Sift the flour and corn flour and set aside. Cream the softened butter thoroughly, adding the sugar slowly (if you are using margarine, add four drops of butter flavoring to the mixture). Add the flour to the butter and mix well – you should end up with a soft dough. Press the dough into the prepared pan and smooth out the top (place a piece of parchment paper on top and then smooth the surface with your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup). Don’t press the dough down too thick as it might not bake completely in the centre. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top starts to look light brown. Remove from the oven and let the dough sit in the pan for a while until it becomes warm. Cut lines into it while it is still warm, then remove the squares and cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container (*Note: I put mine in the fridge due to fear of ants – and i came to realise this is a big DON’T for storage. The cookies will end up becoming hard and dough-like when thawed.) 



  1. I always love shortbread. I only learned about it when I came to Scotland. Yours look very delicious. I love with corn flour added to give it a smoother taste. This is just so good with a cup of coffee.

  2. Hi Mary, yep i love shortbread – and being a coffee lover, often pair them with a cuppa 🙂

  3. shubha · · Reply

    Hi yamini

    shortbread cookies are easiest to make and yummiest to taste. Always write down the ingredients in a paper and keep near you esp. when you are increasing or decreasing the proportion. I have done the same mistake a few times. You learn as you go but remember not to make the same mistake next time

    1. thanks for the tip mum – will keep that paper and pen handy next time 🙂

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