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Serious Eats

Polka Dot Shortbread

May 8, 2013

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

These easy butter cookies make a cute addition to a bridal or baby shower.

Note: You can use most any jam (or combination of jams) to fill these cookies. Avoid jellies, which are too gelatinous to pipe, chunky preserves, or anything with seeds.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

Special equipment: stand mixer, chopstick, baking sheet, pastry bag or ziplock bag


active time 20 minutes, total time 55 minutes

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (7 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup jam (see note)


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add salt and flour and beat until just combined. Divide dough in two equal pieces. Press each piece into a 7- by 7-inch square, one on each baking sheet.

  3. Use a knife to lightly score each square of dough into 9 squares. Use the fat end of a chopstick to press holes all over dough, though don't poke through completely. Bake until shortbread is golden, about 35 minutes. Take out of the oven and while dough is still a little soft, press down on holes again to deepen imprint. Let cool completely.

  4. Cut dough along score lines to create individual squares. Fill a pastry bag (or a ziplock with one corner cut off) with jam. Pipe a little jam into each square. If transporting, let jam set for 30 minutes before packing.

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