Longing For Shortbread

We were invited to our first in-person Seder in two years and I was determined to bring as many desserts as I could to help commemorate the gathering because I knew it was going to be special. The biggest problem with making desserts for Seder is trying to keep them as close to KFP (Kosher For Passover) as possible. Our hosts bend the rules a bit regarding desserts but this year I wanted to find recipes that could more strictly adhere to the guidelines.

This led me to shortbread cookies. I don’t have a long history with shortbread. I made them once before years ago and though I enjoyed the taste, they’ve never been a staple in my baking life. Shortbread lives up to it’s name in that it’s “short” (meaning there’s a high proportion of fat to flour, making the cookies rich, crumbly, and tender). The challenge was to find a way to bring as much of that as possible to the finished cookies and still be as kosher as possible. I eventually found a recipe that I thought I could easily adapt.

For those not in the know, all kinds of ingredients are off the list when it comes to Passover – wheat, rye, oats, peanuts, poppy seeds, rice, corn, butter, milk, and so much more – that it can be daunting to find desserts that aren’t just “made with matzo” and taste like anything other than cardboard. My saving grace was the experimenting I’ve been been doing with gluten-free baking that over the last year. It’s made me more familiar with using alternative flours. Not only that but Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Baking both have excellent 1-to-1 gluten-free flour mixes that take a lot of the onus out of not using wheat flour for baking. I highly suggest trying out either of those brands; your results will be a pleasant surprise.

The recipe I used came from Kosher Cooking on Chabad.org. and I’ve transcribed it below. My substitutions are in red.

I made this recipe again after Seder using the original ingredients and also created a second variation using lemon icing. All in the interest of science (or something), of course!

Currently listening to: Kansas – Miracles Out Of Nowhere and Venemy – New Life (Part 1) (Feat. Notelle)


Source: Kosher Cooking

Yield: 16 Pieces (give or take)


  1. 3 cups flour 3 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 G.F. Flour (405 grams)
  2. ½ cup sugar (115 grams)
  3. ½ cup light brown sugar, packed (110 grams)
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 2 sticks butter 2 sticks of KFP margarine, to keep with my host’s Seder requirements (216 grams)
  6. 2 cups (16 oz/250 grams) powdered sugar
  7. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half a large lemon)


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in food processor until combined, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Press dough into an 8-inch square baking pan and pierce all over with tines of a fork. Score dough into squares. (I used a 9” springform Bundt pan instead because I love the cookie shape this makes. I also docked the dough with a fork once it was all pressed in and scored.)
  4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour. Let cool. Using a knife, separate the cookies at the scoring and store in an airtight container until serving.

For Lemon Icing:

  1. Put the powdered sugar in a small bowl
  2. Add lemon juice a little at a time, stirring until you get the pourable consistency you desire (there’s no wrong or right way, just your way). I prefer a thicker consistency most times but a light glaze can also be nice.
  3. Pour or brush the separated, cooled cookies with the icing and let sit for about 20-30 minutes to give the icing time to set.

The end results of both of thee versions were delightful. Obviously, you need to adjust your bake time depending on how thick you make the cookies.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jeff B.

    Looks good! ?

    1. Carlton Baker II

      Thanks, Jeff! Both versions are quite delicious, too! I know this isn’t a traditional shortbread because of the egg but it’s a good recipe.

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