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Cinnamon-Spiced Shortbread Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Go-To Dinners' by Ina Garten

star shaped cookies on a surface of spices

Quentin Bacon


Makes 16 to 20 cookies

I love shortbread in any form, but this one with cinnamon and apple pie spices is extra special. The basic shortbread dough was inspired by my friend Eli Zabar of EAT in New York City. Not only are these cookies delicious, but the house smells wonderful when you make them!




  • ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt


Sugar coating:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon warm water on low speed until they are just combined (don’t whip it!). In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt.

3. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together in large clumps. Transfer to a floured surface, and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for just 30 minutes.

4. Roll the dough ½ inch thick on a floured board, and cut with a large (3½-inch) star cutter or any other shape you like! Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared sheet pans, and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.

5. Meanwhile, for the sugar coating, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a medium bowl. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle them thickly with the sugar mixture and allow to cool on the sheet pans. When the cookies are cool, shake off the excess sugar mixture and serve warm or at room temperature.


Note: You can prepare the dough and cut out the cookies ahead of time, then refrigerate or freeze in containers until you're ready to bake. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture before serving.

Cook With Ina

Two more recipes to try from Go-To Dinners:

Orange Marmalade-Glazed Ham

Pineapple juice, brown sugar, orange marmalade and mustard make the most delicious glaze.

One-Pot Oven Risotto

Asparagus, saffron, wine and Parmesan make this risotto particularly satisfying.


Read about Ina Garten's latest cookbook, Go-To Dinners.

ina garten on book cover of go-to dinners, holding glass of white wine; table has flowers, bottle of wine, turkey, paper plates, and glasses

Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House

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