Shortbread sticks

Shortbread sticks

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  • Makes 36
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes’ chilling time
  • 15–20 minutes

"These shortbread sticks are a perfect gift idea. You can make them bougie by tying a small ribbon on each of them and placing them in a box. They’re pretty to look at and delicious, too.” – Lorraine Maharaj


  • 180 g butter, softened
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 1 t vanilla essence
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 240 g cake flour
  • For decorating:
  • 60 g milk chocolate, melted
  • 3 T chopped peanuts
  • 120 g white chocolate
  • 3 T chopped pistachios
  • edible gold leaf
  • a very small pinch of cardamom
  • 1 drop rose essence
  • pink food colouring
  • small pesticide-free rose petals

Cooking Instructions

1. Beat the butter and icing sugar until creamy and well combined. Add the vanilla essence and mix well. Mix in the cornflour. Gradually add the flour and mix to form a soft pliable dough. Chill the dough for 30 minutes until ice cold.

2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Divide the dough into two pieces, for easy rolling. Roll out the dough and cut into a square about 11 cm in length and about 1 mm in thickness. Cut the dough into elongated stick-like shapes, about 1 cm wide.

3. Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown.

4. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Decorate a third each each (about 12) of the shortbread with different flavours.

5. To make chocolate-and-peanut shortbread, melt the milk chocolate. Dip one end of the shortbread, about a third, into the chocolate and sprinkle over the nuts. Allow to dry on baking paper. You can refrigerate them for 5 minutes to set the chocolate.

6. To make white chocolate-and-pistachio shortbread, melt half the white chocolate and dip the shortbread into the chocolate. Sprinkle over the pistachios and add some gold leaf.

7. To make cardamom-and rose-shortbread, mix the cardamom, rose essence and a tiny drop of food colouring into the remaining white chocolate. Dip the shortbread into the chocolate. Decorate with the rose petals.

Cook's note:  Place the shortbread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper after decorating and pop into the fridge to set.
For the cardamom-and-rose shortbread, you need a tiny pinch of cardamom and a tiny drop of rose essence. The rose essence can be very overpowering so be careful not to add too much.
For more cost-effective shortbread, stick to one flavour!

Find more Diwali recipes here. 

Photographs: Jan Ras
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food assistant: Tahila Pillay

Lorraine Maharaj Recipe by: Lorraine Maharaj
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Lorraine Maharaj is a food blogger and recipe developer based in Johannesburg. Follow her on Instagram: @tamarindnthyme where you’ll find everything from paneer scramble and halwa puri to snowballs and the perfect vanilla sponge.

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