Shortbread Farm Animal Cookies!

In my quest for the perfect shortbread recipe, I stumbled upon this gem at an antique store in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This pan is absolutely perfect! It fits with our homesteading/farm theme and it’s just plain adorable. The mold was inspired by antique American butter molds and plaques. Its delicate detail was slightly adapted, making it the perfect pan for modern day shortbread.

Shortbread goes back to the 12th century in Scotland and started as a biscuit bread. Biscuits were made from leftover bread dough that was sometimes sweetened and dried out in the oven. As time went on, the leavening was lost and butter became the main ingredient. This was once considered a fancy treat that was only enjoyed for celebrations such as Christmas and Hogsmanay (Scottish New Year). Now we enjoy shortbread all year long!

The recipe is quite simple: butter, unsifted powdered sugar, vanilla and flour. It takes a little bit of finessing to get the cookies out of the pan, but they are just as good broken!


1/2 cup butter (softened or at room temperature) I used salted butter

1/3 cup powdered sugar (unsifted)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour (unsifted)



Cream the butter in a mixer until it is fluffy. Cream in the powdered sugar and vanilla.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Next, work in the flour. I used a spatula to incorporate all of the flour and to create a shaggy dough ball. Spray your shortbread pan (or an 8×8 pan), with cooking spray. I use the type of cooking spray with flour in it for all of my baking!


Press the dough into the pan, making it as evenly distributed as possible. Prick the entire surface with the fork to keep the shortbread from bubbling up (little hands love this job). Bake for about 30 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a cutting board. Cut into serving pieces while still warm. If you wait too long, it’s hard to cut them into squares. They harden as they cool.


Original recipe:

Historical information provided by:

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