Shortbread Cookies

Since I am still pretty jet-lagged I figured I’d soothe my insomnia with a post :) .  I had actually meant to post this entry while I was in China but apparently they do not allow blogging websites there.  I was also unable to access Twitter and Facebook as well, thank god for the whole “Freedom of Speech” thing we have going for America eh?

Shanghai was a blast, I come to realize that I will always be a big city girl at heart.  I loved the energy, the endless amounts of delicious (and cheap) food, and the shopping — oh my god, the shopping.  Surprisingly, it was Collin who lost himself this time.  Yes, you heard correctly, my fiance was completely out of control compared to me.  You see, in China you can always bargain for your price, it’s like gambling, except the ultimate goal is to get a stinkin’ good deal.

He made two custom fitted suits for a whopping $96 dollars each along with several custom tailored dress shirts for about $10 each.  He also purchased belts, watches, wallets, polos — he literally came back with an entirely new wardrobe.  NOW the good child (me) had a tailored jacket made for $60 and had a custom wedding dress made for $85, the one I found here in the States was $3500.  This convinces me to never buy clothes in the States ever again, (okay not really because I love shopping) but it is amazing as to what you can have made there and for such a good price!

We didn’t have enough time to visit HangZhou so that will be saved for next time, but we ventured all throughout Shanghai and stopped by Wuxi and ShuZhou.  I took over 1200 pictures while I was there, now that I am editing through them I am becoming a little regretful about my trigger happy finger.

Everytime I go back, I am always amazed as to how much changes around Shanghai.  Highrise buildings magically sprout out of nowhere, old restaurants replaced by new, and there always seems to be more people.  Always. The traffic is a constant clusterf*ck and you always think someone’s going to die, yet there are minimal car accidents and pedestrians and bikers always seem to come out alive.

I shall save the many adventures of Shanghai for the following posts, seeing that I have thousands of pictures to go through as well as numerous information pamphlets to read I should probably get started… I would also like to pose a warning for the following cookie recipe: they are extremely addictive.  Collin ate about a dozen to himself in one sitting, these cookies will make you lose all self control so plan wisely :)

I found this recipe in Frank Stitt’s Southern Table — these cookies are melt in your mouth delicious and using only 4 simple ingredients they are not only easy to make but can be paired with any dessert and goes great with coffee.

Ingredients for Shortbread Cookies:

(Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies)

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.  Sift the salt and flour, then add to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.

Form the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap the log with plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours to overnight.  Freeze for up to 2 months.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and slice the dough into 1/4-inch disks.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet 1 inch apart and bake until the bottoms of the cookies just turn golden, about 10 minutes, turning the sheet 180 degrees after 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.

VARIATION: After removing the dough from the refrigerator, slice as above, then roll each disk into a ball.  Moisten a thumb and press into the center of each ball.  Fill each indentation with high-quality raspberry or other fruit preserves.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake until slightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

You can also use other preserves like apricot, cherry, strawberry — and since Easter is this Sunday this would also make a delightful dessert to bring to any party.  Easy to make, delicious to the max, trust me these cookies will become the hype of any party :) !


  1. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You just came back from your trip and here you are with an amazing post. Shortbread cookies are wonderful. China has changed so much and it’s going to get better and better every year. If you come to the Philippines, we have a lot of great clothing shops here too that are cheap. I mean, if you convert US dollars to Philippines Peso, you can definitely buy a lot at a very reasonable price.

    Well, can’t wait to see your other photos from China. Welcome back Joy. :)

  2. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    $85 wedding dress?! Awesome! That’s the price range I like for something you will only wear once ;) Glad you had a nice time! These cookies look yummy!!!!

  3. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Very cool to read about your trip. Sounds like a blast!

  4. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Joy: I missed you and your delicious pictures. Never leave me again. I am addicted to your cookie photos. hearrrrts

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Aw Elissa!!!! You are so sweet :) I will never never leave you again, next time I will just bring you with me :) love you!

  5. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Joy, Welcome back! Hope to see more of your posts in Shanghai.
    I also made shortbread pastry yesterday, would like to your recipe. Looks good!

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Anncoo thank you!! I am glad to be back, I always say “great minds think a like :) ” I am heading over there to check out your shortbreads now :)

  6. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Joy, Joy, Joy…it’s a real joy to see you back! :D Love all your Shanghai stories. I feel like packing and flying there now and go for a real shopping spree! Oh, I can’t wait to see you in your beautiful wedding dress. I know you are going to look absolutely gorgeous!!!!…and Collin too, of course!!!! And now….your shortbread…..looks so simple and delicious. I have copied down the recipe…. to make when I’m slimmer… :P ….or to make others fat…LOL

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Mary it feels great to be back, I do miss it though. I will definitely show you sneak peeks of my wedding dress when I get it in May — my mom is going back then to pick up my dress and our photos!! I have an evil secret….I like to make really delicious desserts…and then give them to other people (because I know I can’t eat it cuz i’ll get fat) I JUST CAN’T HELP IT — i love it when people enjoy food and eat lots of it :)

      Maybe one day we shall go together and I’ll show you all the good places to go :)

  7. alicia
    Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your recipe. But isn’t 3/4c butter equal to 1 1/2 sticks? You indicate 3 sticks.
    Which is the amount you used? Thanks again.

  8. alicia
    Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Whoops sorry. I misread the recipe. (pounds not cup)

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Hee hee no prob alicia! — there’s a lot of butter in these cookies -_- BUT I PROMISE IT’S WORTH IT :) !

  9. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Joy, you’re back from SH already!!!! Oh..can’t wait to see all your photos. I’m glad you finally got what you’re looking for and in good bargains too. Gee…you actually saved USD$3k and that can renew your whole wardrobe of clothings. Oh, this is so good! So, Collin getting along well with your grandma? I’m sure she’s jumping with joy to see you both. haha…
    Btw, I love St Darfour jam but it’s quite pricy over here. That definitely goes very well with that simply delicious cookies. No doubt that Collin loves it so much!
    Looking forward to your SH posting and also your granny photos!^_^
    Regards, Kristy

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Hahahaha Kristy your point of view is always wonderful, I LOVE IT I will definitely be sure to tell collin the money I saved in China should be used towards my new spring wardrobe this year :)

      My grandma ADORES Collin, she was really happy to see us both. She called my mom every night to tell her about the hugs she got from both of us and how much she loves them. I should send you a jar of St Darfour jam — it’s not too bad over here, mine was about $4.50
      Thanks for the comment, you always make me laugh!

  10. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh gosh. I miss Shanghai and its awesome tailoring. I came back with tailored jackets, shirts and pants.

    I can’t wait to read more about your trip in Shanghai.

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Hahaha Penny, Collin went absolutely insane when he found the plethora of cheap tailors in Shanghai. I couldn’t help but stand back and laugh :) How many times have you been to Shanghai?

  11. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful ! your pictures and posts are really a “joy”!

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Soma you always say such nice things, thank you for that :)

  12. Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I love shortbread! Yum!

  13. Sirhin
    Posted 31 Mar ’10 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Those look amazing! ^^ All your talk about China makes me want to go back. I studied abroad there but in Beijing – which is also much cheaper than Shanghai. My friend who stayed in Shanghai and I always get into debates on which place is better. haha… Anyway, these are definitely on my to-do list! Well… after I feel like I’ve waited enough for those THREE STICKS OF BUTTER.

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Sirhin thank you for your kind words! I have never been to Beijing but have heard it is AMAZING, especially the scenery and buildings and well of course the food — maybe next time when I go back I will have to make a stop and check it out :)

      I know, I know — this recipe is soooo bad. But when people eat them they are sooo happy I just can’t take that away from them, as long as you dont have 12 in one sitting (like COLLIN) I am sure it’s okay :)

  14. Posted 1 Apr ’10 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait for more posts about your trip!

    I have not been to Shanghai for some years now..with the rate of changes going on, I don’t think I am able to recognize this city now!

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Shanghai’s growth over the years have been crazy!! I really love that there is a mixture of the old and the new, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip this time.

  15. Posted 1 Apr ’10 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    welcome back! i thot my wedding dress was already very cheap cos it’s supposed to be a bridesmaid dress. now of course mine cannot beat yours. i cant wait to see you put it on!

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      haha that is too awesome I love that you picked a bridesmaid dress — I just can’t make myself pay 1000s of dollars for something I will never wear again, and especially since I’m planning to “trash the dress” after the wedding :)

  16. Posted 2 Apr ’10 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Your pictures are great, the cookies looks amazing! I just started an online cooking show, in the last episode I’m making Swedish cupcakes. Please check it out!

  17. Posted 2 Apr ’10 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    A fabulous treat!

  18. Posted 2 Apr ’10 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    St. Delflour = best jam ever!

  19. Posted 2 Apr ’10 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I have a flatmate who is passionate about China. She loves talking about her trips and placement at Shangaï and so on. And shown me the dresses she bought there, amazing!
    I have to go there at least once! And make some shortbread cookies :)

    • Posted 5 Apr ’10 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Hee hee Sha the clothes in China can’t get any cheaper :) You should definitely check out SHanghai sometime, I think you’d love it!!

  20. Pearl Ashe
    Posted 22 Apr ’10 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Had some free time today so decided to make these cookies. Ha – I had to wait for butter to get soft – so measured out sugar, flour etc. When ready mixed butter and conf. sugar. Tried to get it into a roll to put in refrig. Easier when had it in the plastic wrap. Then – to my chagrin- I saw the flour sitting in a bowl on the side!!!! OOPS! So back to the battleground. All mixed now and in plastic wrap in the refrig. Sure hope they taste GOOD. Picked strawberries last week and made jam – will put that in the center. Wish you were here to do all my cooking!!!

    • Posted 26 Apr ’10 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Grandma Pearl you are the best! You don’t know how happy I got when I read your comment. I immediately dragged collin to come and read it :) !!! Hahaha, I have definitely done that before, accidentally leaving out an ingredient and having to go back and “fold” it in :) How did the shortbreads turn out? Hopefully delicious with your HOMEMADE strawberry jam!!! I am jealous :)

  21. Pearl
    Posted 27 Apr ’10 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I only made one small batch – DELICIOUS!!!
    I still have one big log to go – will do Thur. probably as I do not play golf that day. The others are in the freezer for when Lori and Dave come!. A great recipe. Thanks

  22. Catherine
    Posted 6 Jun ’10 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Just a quick comment on the recipe: you have the oven being preheated before the ingredients are put together and chilled for 3+ hours. It might work better to change the order so that the ingredients are being prepped for cooking when the oven’s being preheated.

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