Brown Sugar Shortbread

by Dorothy Reinhold on April 24, 2019

Print This Post Print This Post Brown Sugar Shortbread is a simple 3-ingredient shortbread that tastes lightly of caramel from the brown sugar, and will find a place on any cookie platter. It makes a wonderful gift.

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from some sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are mine.

Brown Sugar Shortbread is a simple 3-ingredient shortbread that tastes lightly of caramel from the brown sugar, and will find a place on any cookie platter. It also makes a wonderful, easy gift!

We’re in the middle of #BrunchWeek 2019, hosted by Love and Confections and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! This is our 7th year of #BrunchWeek and 35 bloggers from around the country are showcasing more than 140 of their best brunch dishes. We have so many delicious recipes for you to enjoy throughout the week, including beverages and cocktails, appetizers, casseroles, pastries, coffee cakes, breakfast pizza, plenty of desserts, and more. Our BrunchWeek sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes, so we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it (below the recipe ↓) and what you can win!

Sponsors, thank you so much, and readers, go enter and get those prizes!

I’ve been making these Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies for a couple of decades. They ALWAYS go over well, and invariably my guests, or the gift recipient if I have given these away, asks for the recipe. Isn’t that the highest compliment? They’re wonderful on a brunch table as a sweet treat for the end of the meal.

How to make Brown Sugar Shortbread

It’s so, so easy.

Ingredients for Brown Sugar Shortbread on ShockinglyDelicious.comGather your ingredients. I am using Dixie Crystals Dark Brown Sugar from our sponsor. It’s a very high quality, non-GMO pure cane sugar with a good molasses flavor. I like the dark brown in this recipe because it gives a nice caramel undertone.

Brown Sugar Shortbread Dough mixed on ShockinglyDelicious.comMix them in your mixer, just until combined. They dough will look like damp sand.

Brown Sugar Shortbread dough on the boardScoop it out onto a floured board. You will be patting it out to a rectangle about 1/3 inch thick, about 11 inches long by 8 inches wide. I use a ruler to get the rough size right.

Brown Sugar Shortbread being patted on the board on ShockinglyDelicious.comI pat it roughly with my hands.

Brown Sugar Shortbread patted out on ShockinglyDelicious.comOnce I have the right size, I refine the edges and pat it more smoothly.

Brown Sugar Shortbread cut on ShockinglyDelicious.comCut 4 long strips and then 9 horizontal cuts. This will make 40 cookies.

Sprinkle Brown Sugar Shortbread with sugar crystals on ShockinglyDelicious.comSprinkle with sugar crystals. For this Brown Sugar Shortbread, I used Sweets & Treats Sea Glass sprinkles mix. Since I live at the beach, I was going for a beachy theme…I think the light brown cookies look like sand, and the colored sugar looks like sea glass. Are you with me?

Tamp down sugar crystals on Brown Sugar Shortbread on ShockinglyDelicious.comPress down lightly so the crystals adhere. Poke pieces with a fork.

Brown Sugar Shortbread ready for the oven on ShockinglyDelicious.comTransfer cookies to a silicone- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. They should all fit on one sheet, because they will not spread while baking, so you can place them about 1/2 inch apart.

Bown Sugar Shortbread baked on ShockinglyDelicious.comBake, cool, and try to stay away from them until your guests come.

10 reasons why Brown Sugar Shortbread is the perfect cookie

1. They are super easy to make, with only 3 ingredients…4 if you count the sugar crystals on top.

2. Kids can help with the measuring and mixing, the sprinkles and the final poking with a fork.
Brown Sugar Shortbread | ShockinglyDelicious.com3. You can poke the holes like dominoes if you’d like to amuse yourself. In the example above, I left the sugar crystals off the top, but these days I prefer the blingy cookies with the sugar on top!

4. They make a great gift for someone whose tastes you don’t quite know yet. They’re sweet and good, but not overpowering in any way, and contain no nuts or odd ingredients that might spark a food allergy.

5. They go well with a cup of tea or coffee.

6. There is nothing in them that will spoil or melt, so you can leave them in a desk drawer or tote bag all day.

7. 2 words: Teacher gift! We gave these to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher on the first day of school. Way to score points!

8. They use pantry ingredients. You will likely have everything you need already, so you might as well go turn on the oven now.

9. It pays to remember that home-cooked foods made as gifts don’t have to be expensive to be good.

10. Sprinkles! Every dang thing is better with sprinkles!

Brown Sugar Shortbread on a plate on ShockinglyDelicious.comThese are basically a butter-and-sugar delivery system. What’s not to like?

Brown Sugar Shortbread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 40 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Brown Sugar Shortbread

Brown Sugar Shortbread is a simple 3-ingredient shortbread that tastes lightly of caramel from the brown sugar, and will find a place on any cookie platter. It also makes a wonderful, easy gift!


  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature (if you are using unsalted butter, add 1/3 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used Dixie Crystals)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Topping: Sugar crystals (I used [Sweets & Treats Sea Glass sweet sprinkles)


  1. Heat oven to 300F degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, several minutes. Mix in the flour gently; do not over mix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a board that has been lightly floured. Pat it into a rectangle about 1/3-inch thick, and about 11 inches long by 8 inches wide. Cut dough into 4 long strips (about 2 inches wide each), and then make 9 horizontal cuts; you will have 40 cookies total.
  4. Sprinkle sugar crystals on top, and then press gently with a spatula to make them adhere. Using a spatula, place cookies about 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet that has either a silicone mat or parchment paper on it. all 40 cookies should fit on one sheet. Prick cookies with a fork several times each, or use the blunt end of a thin bamboo skewer to poke the cookies. I like to poke them to resemble dice, or dominoes, just for fun.
  5. Bake at 300F degrees for 25 minutes. Cookies will be light brown and will hold their shape. Remove from oven and cool on pan for 5 minutes, then remove cookies from pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container.
  6. Makes 40 cookies.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious

Note: For best flavor, please use real butter and do not substitute margarine or other solid fats.

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Brown Sugar Shortbread on


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Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers created for you today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
4 Ingredient Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri from Hardly A Goddess
Grapefruit Lime Spritzer from Love and Confections
Dairy Free Peach Italian Cream Soda from Cookaholic Wife
Mango Strawberry Smoothie from The Mandatory Mooch
Peach Guava Italian Soda from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Peach Mimosas from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

BrunchWeek Appetizers and Salads:
Deviled Ham Spread from Platter Talk
Eggs Benedict Cobb Salad from Sweet Beginnings
Everything Bagel Dip from Snacks and Sips
Savory Cheesy Pinwheels from Who Needs A Cape?

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Lobster Eggs Benedict from The Redhead Baker

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains, and Pastries:
Banana Split Muffin Recipe from Creative Southern Home
Croissant French Toast Cups from Family Around the Table
Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls from Kate’s Recipe Box

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Sandwich Cake (Smörgåstårta) from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Blackberry-Mascarpone Dessert Pizza from Tip Garden
Brown Sugar Shortbread from Shockingly Delicious
Kiss Of Chocolate Cupcakes from Seduction in the Kitchen
Rainbow Biscotti from The Crumby Kitchen
Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Wheatgerm Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simply Healthyish Recipes

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Joyjolt, Sweets & Treats, Torani, Sarcastic Cooking, Dessert for Two, Sweet Phi, and The Little Ferraro Kitchen for providing the prizes free of charge. Some of these companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Winners have 48 hours to respond once chosen, or they forfeit the prize and another winner(s) will be chosen. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

More examples of shortbread done like dominoes for you!

Brown Sugar Shortbread |

Brown Sugar Shortbread |

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