Shortbread is such a classic favorite. Simple, easy to find ingredients, uncomplicated to prepare and always good, sometimes better , sometimes best, but always good.

Helen, who works at our nursery, created this four pepper shortbread and today a customer writes they’ve lost the recipe so here it is! We usually serve this at our annual Nichols Plant Day.


1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature plus a bit to butter pan

2 1/2 cups presifted unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons coarsely ground Nichols Four Pepper Blend

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly butter a 10″ spring form pan, set aside

Stir together flour, salt and 2 teaspoons Nichols Four Pepper Blend, set aside

Put butter and powdered sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixing just until combined.

Using spatula spread dough evenly into prepared pan, smoothing top. Lightly mark dough into wedges or cubes.Bake until shortbread is light golden brown about one hour twenty minutes. “I like to line pan with a circle of parchment paper.”

Transfer pan to wire rack. Immediately sprinkle with granulated sugar and remaining teaspoon of Nichols Four Pepper Blend. Remove spring form rim and place pan on a cooling rack. let cool, transfer to a flat surface and cut into wedges or cubes.