Aaron’s Shortbread Cookies

Aaron’s shortbread cookies are melt-in-your-mouth buttery classics, that take minutes to make and look beautiful as holiday gifts tied with a festive bow.

The Backstory: I cannot count the number of times I’ve made these buttery shortbread cookies. A million years ago (at least it feels that way), I had a boyfriend named Aaron who truly looked and dressed like he walked off the cover of a Brooks Brothers catalog. No lie. I’m not sure how he pulled that off since he was a nice Jewish boy from Akron, Ohio. One of my aunts (who shall remain nameless), actually asked me once if I worried that he would find someone else and dump me. Not exactly a confidence builder, but I could see where she was coming from. He just had one of those faces. More of the Backstory after the recipe

Aaron's Shortbread Cookies

Rich, buttery, and crisp on the outside, these delicious shortbread cookies are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, or packed in a lunch bag for a snack. They're also perfect as gifts to give for the holidays---dip them in melted chocolate, let cool, and tie in clear bags with a festive bow.
Course Desserts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat flour, butter, Confectioner's sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla until well-combined, occasionally scraping down the bowl.
  3. Pat the dough into a 9-inch round ungreased cake pan. With a fork, prick the batter all over.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar over the cookie batter.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove pan from oven. While still warm, cut cookies into 12-14 wedges. Cool on wire rack and separate the cookies.

…The Backstory continues: In any case, this Waspy-looking Jew loved all things Waspy, even though he had deep pride in his Jewish heritage. Nonetheless, he drove a Volvo, wore bow-ties with said Brooks Brothers suits, and had this cool, polished air about him. He also loved English shortbread cookies. Naturally.

One weekend during a visit to his parents’ home in Akron, his mother gave me a recipe for these cookies. “They’re from one of my Sisterhood members,” she told me. “He doesn’t need to know.”

He never did.

Sadly, Aaron passed away at a very young age. I think of him often and and literally catch my breath whenever The English Patient is on TV. He is a dead ringer for Ralph Fiennes in that film. And I always think of him when I make these cookies for my kids.



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Jodi Luber

Jodi Luber

Here goes: Born in Brooklyn. Daughter of a bagel baker with a Henny Youngman soul and a mom who makes Joan Rivers seem tame. Late bloomer. Married the love of my life at 45 and love being a mom to our three kids. I'm a professor at Boston U. Happiest in the kitchen baking and remembering how my dad would melt from a single bite of my cheesecake.
Jodi Luber
Jodi Luber

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