Spicy Cocktail Shortbreads


Gail Monaghan has made these curried shortbreads for years and even packaged and sold them for a time. They are delicious with a glass of Champagne, or at the end of a meal with fruit salad, ice cream or sorbet.Plus: More Appetizer Recipes and Tips

Spicy Cocktail Shortbreads
Photo: © Miki Duisterhof
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
2 dozen


  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/8 teaspoons mild curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Sift the flour with the curry powder, salt, paprika, turmeric, chili powder and black and cayenne peppers. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and beat until blended.

  3. Scrape the shortbread dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pat it into a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Pat the log into a rectangle and wrap it up. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the dough 1/4 inch thick and arrange on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Prick the top of the shortbreads all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Slide the parchment onto a wire rack and let the shortbreads cool.

Make Ahead

The cooled shortbreads can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

A nonvintage Champagne will be light bodied and fruity enough to highlight the warm Indian spices in these savory shortbreads.

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