A stack of caramelized sugar shortbread cookies
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Caramelized Sugar Shortbread Cookies

These Caramelized Sugar Shortbread Cookies are made with caramel dust or caramelized sugar that has been blitzed into fine ground. They are much like the classic shortbread cookies, without any fancy flavoring, yet with a tiny hint of caramel sweetness in their crumbs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time31 mins
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American, European
Servings: 10 cookies
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Trang


  • 4 ounce unsalted butter (113 g, room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup caramelized sugar dust (61 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (2 g)
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour (143 g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (1 g)
  • 1 tablespoon caramelized sugar dust for sprinkling (12 g)


  • Add softened butter, caramelized sugar dust and vanilla extract to the stand mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment on medium low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Mean while, add flour and salt to a small mixing bowl and whisk to distribute evenly. Reduce mixer speed to low speed, and slowly add the flour mixture. Gradually increase mixer speed to medium and mix until dough comes together. It should start pulling away from the side of the mixing bowl.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter top, and shape into a disk. Wrap well with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Roll dough to between 1/4” to 3/8” thick and cut out cookies with desired size cookie cutter. Re-roll the scrap dough and cut out more cookies until finished.
  • Place the cookies in a container in layers with parchment paper in between and freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F while the cookies are resting in the freezer.
  • When the oven is ready, place cookies on a parchment line baking sheet an inch or two apart, sprinkle caramelized sugar dust over the top of cookies generously and bake for 15 - 16 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • This recipe is specifically made to give an idea on how to use left over caramel dust. If you substitute granulated sugar, then it will just be a classic shortbread recipe.
  • I used a 2.5” flower shape cookie cutter and the recipe yielded 10 full cookies.
  • This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily for more cookies if desired.


Serving: 33g | Calories: 162kcal