clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Close up of shortbread squares leaning and stacked on a green cloth with a brown background.

Brown Butter Shortbread

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 squares


  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, put ice cubes and fill with cold water, so you have an ice water bath to stop the browning of the butter.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir often and let it boil. The mixture will be yellow and the bubbles will be large. After 8 to 10 minutes, it will start to darken and smell nutty. Dark flecks will appear at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stand back, since it will bubble up furiously. Put the saucepan on top of the icy water and let the butter firm up.
  3. Transfer the cold browned butter to a large bowl.
  4. Add, sifting, the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Add vanilla, milk, and sugar. Mix until everything is well combined. It may appear a bit dry. If you need to, put everything on a working surface and knead it into a ball. Don't overwork the dough.
  6. Make a log and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until it is firm enough to cut without cracking or losing shape.
  7. About 15 minutes before cutting the cookies, preheat the oven to 300º F / 150º C.
  8. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  9. Pat the dough and even it out. It will be uneven, and that's fine. 
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes, until it's dry on top and starting to brown. 
  11. With a smooth-bladed knife, without cutting it all the way through, mark the block in half and then into sticks while the shortbread is hot and in the pan. This will help you cut them more easily after you remove them. 
  12. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  13. Store in a covered tin.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International