Buttery Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Buttery Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies displayed in a glass container

There is nothing like the simplicity of a shortbread cookie. I really love this brown sugar shortbread cookie recipe because brown sugar gives it a deeper, more caramel flavor than white sugar does. These delicious cookies are quick to make as well. I have made them from start to baked in less than 30 minutes. Because of its amazing simplicity, I chose this as one of the two cookie recipes I used in my final practical exam, or practicum, in culinary school.

Buttery Brown Sugar Shortbread ingredients: flour, butter, brown sugar, pecans, and vanilla

There are only five basic ingredients: flour, butter, brown sugar, pecans, and vanilla. These are common staples for most bakers. Slicing your butter is a great way to bring it up to room temperature fairly quickly. Though it isn’t pictured here, I highly recommend Kerrygold butter.

The dish towel came from Target.

Brown sugar, flour, and butter

Combine the flour, brown sugar, and softened butter. Mix together by hand or with a hand mixer. I prefer starting out with a mixer, and then using the warmth of my hands to sort of squish it together.

Combining ingredients for brown sugar shortbread cookies

It will be pretty crumbly at first.

Combining ingredients for shortbread cookies

But it ends up holding together very well.

Fabulous Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookie dough in muffin tins

Place in greased mini muffin tins. As you can see, this time it made 35. That tends to vary for me since I do it by hand instead of using a scoop. Bake at 350° for about 15 minutes.

Turn shortbread cookies out onto parchment paper

These bake up to a beautiful golden brown on the bottom and they have a very nice, chewy crunch. They have an almost butterscotch flavor. I just can’t say enough about how amazing they are.

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies displayed in a pretty wooden cigar box

I like giving cookies and other baked goodies in unique containers, and one of my favorites is a cigar box. There are several cigar stores in town, and they will sell or give me their empty cigar boxes. I always offer to buy them, but they almost always just give them to me. I really like this cool wooden one. I try to remove the surgeon general’s warning label since it is irrelevant for cookies, thank goodness. And really kind of a downer.

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies displayed in a pretty wooden cigar box

These cookies are also great to give as hostess gifts, but make sure to bake enough to have some for yourself.

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

The Tasteful Baker
A fabulous shrortbread cookie made with flour, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and pecans.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 3 dozen


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans chopped


  • In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and flour until crumbly.
  • Stir in pecans and vanilla.
  • Squeeze mixture with hands to form a smooth dough.
  • Divide into 36 portions and press into greased mini muffin tins.
  • Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Cool in pans for about 5 minutes.
  • Flip tins over to release cookies.
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