What makes shortbread. . . shortbread

Inspired by this thread: Why is shortbread so expensive

It struck me that there are plenty of manufactured cookies that are pretty “short” but they’re not shortbread to me. But. . .

What defines shortbread?

There are plenty of cookies that have lots of butter. Are vanilla wafers shortbread? They seem short to me but I wouldn’t call them shortbread.

  1. Shortbread is called short because of the traditional ratio of one part sugar to two parts butter that lends a high fat content to the dough. This yields a soft, buttery crumb that melts in your mouth, similar to short crust pastry. This ratio is also what makes shortbread so crave-worthy.

I’m sure I could make a cookie with that ratio of sugar/butter that you would NOT consider shortbread.

Shortbread is also unleavened, unlike most cakes and biscuits.