Hearst Castle Shortbread Cookies With Honey


William Randolph Hearst was a big fan of shortbread cookies, and this is an adaptation of a recipe in The Castle Cookbook.

The Castle Cookbook

The Castle Cookbook

The original recipe calls for sugar, but I think honey makes the cookies tastier. I think “The Chief” would have approved!


Yield:  3-4 dozen


4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb unsalted butter

1 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

powdered or decorative sugar for sprinkling on top. (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the honey and beat again, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice as you are mixing. Beat in the vanilla extract. . Add the flour mixture in two additions. Stir until everything comes together into a thick dough.

Wrap dough in plastic and chill completely in the refrigerator – about thirty minutes. When the dough is chilled, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out 1/4-1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are barely golden.

Sprinkle with powdered or decorative sugar if desired.

Lavender And Honey Shortbread With Vanilla Glaze

I am so excited about my upcoming London trip, I am inspired to bake shortbread cookies. These are a delicious twist on an old favorite!



1 cup flour
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon lavender
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 300°F
Place flour, confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in food processor; cover; pulse to blend.
Add butter; pulse until coarse crumbs form.
Add honey, lavender and vanilla; pulse until dough pulls away from side of bowl.
Place dough in ungreased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Place waxed paper over dough.
Press to form a smooth even layer in bottom of tart pan.
Remove waxed paper.
Pierce dough with a fork, then score top with sharp knife into 12 wedges.Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and just starting to brown around the edges. (Shortbread should be pale in color.)
Place pan on wire rack.
Cut through shortbread into wedges.
While still warm but not hot, remove shortbread from pan to wire rack to cool.
Mix cup confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla extract in small bowl until well blended and smooth.
Drizzle vanilla glaze over cooled shortbread.
Sprinkle shortbread with confectioners’ sugar.

Derby Week Recipes – Honey Bourbon Truffles

These are like old-fashioned bourbon balls, but updated with honey and English shortbread cookies.


3 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8  tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon
1 (5.3-oz.) package English pure butter shortbread cookies, crushed (such as Walkers Shortbread)
2 cups finely chopped roasted, salted pecans
Waxed paper

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Cook cream and bourbon in a small saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. (Mixture will steam, and bubbles will form around edge of pan.) Pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.
2. Stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (If mixture doesn’t melt completely, microwave at HIGH 30 seconds.) Stir in crushed cookies. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm. (Mixture can be prepared and chilled up to 2 days ahead.)
3. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls (about 2 tsp. per ball). Roll in chopped pecans. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.