Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Shortbread cookies are a classic treat that can be enjoyed throughout the year. With their crisp texture and buttery flavor, they are sure to please any palate. Whether you want to pair them with a cup of coffee or tea, or simply indulge in their delightful simplicity, shortbread cookies are a beloved favorite.

Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Key Takeaways

  • Shortbread cookies are a timeless treat with a crisp texture and buttery flavor.
  • They can be enjoyed with coffee or tea or on their own as a delicious snack.
  • Making shortbread cookies at home is simple and requires just a few ingredients.
  • Experiment with variations by adding nuts, spices, or other flavors to customize your cookies.
  • Shortbread cookie dough can be made in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer for convenience.

Pro Tips for Making Shortbread Cookies

To ensure the best results when making shortbread cookies, here are some pro tips to keep in mind:

  1. The cookie dough can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
  2. If your butter is not at room temperature, you can microwave it on 50% power in 5-second bursts until softened.
  3. Experiment with adding toasted nuts and spices to enhance the flavor and crunch of your shortbread cookies.
  4. Have fun with the design on the bottom of the cookies by creating different patterns or letting the kids get involved.

“Baking can be a fun and creative activity. Don’t be afraid to think outside the cookie jar and add your own personal touch to these classic treats!”

Try out these tips and unleash your inner pastry chef to create delightful and irresistible homemade shortbread cookies. Whether you choose to make them in advance, experiment with flavors, or get creative with designs, these easy shortbread cookies are sure to be a hit at any gathering or as a special treat just for yourself.

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make delicious shortbread cookies:

  1. Cream room temperature butter in a stand mixer.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and add flour while mixing on low until combined.
  4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a rectangular prism.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm.
  6. Preheat the oven and cut the dough into half-inch slices.
  7. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  8. Use a fork or skewer to create a pattern on top of the cookies.
  9. Bake at the specified temperature and time until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  10. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Follow these simple steps to create classic shortbread cookies that are sure to delight your taste buds. The combination of butter, sugar, and flour creates a heavenly treat with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Once baked, these cookies can be enjoyed on their own or as a base for other desserts. They are perfect for any occasion or as a homemade gift for friends and family.

Get ready to fill your kitchen with the irresistible aroma of freshly baked shortbread cookies. With this easy recipe, you’ll be able to create a batch of delicious homemade treats that will leave everyone asking for more.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shortbread Cookies

Here are some common questions about shortbread cookies:

  1. How do you know when shortbread is cooked?

    The cookies should just be starting to change color on the bottom when ready to take out of the oven.

  2. Are shortbread cookies and sugar cookies the same?

    While both are types of cookies, shortbread cookies have a different texture and flavor profile compared to sugar cookies.

Get all your questions about shortbread cookies answered here so you can bake with confidence!

Make-Ahead Option for Shortbread Dough

If you want to plan ahead and save time, you can make the shortbread dough in advance. This convenient option allows you to prepare the dough ahead of time, ensuring you have freshly-baked cookies whenever you desire. Simply follow the Shortbread Cookies Recipe below and store the dough properly for future use.

Make-Ahead Instructions:

  1. Prepare the shortbread dough according to the Shortbread Cookies Recipe.
  2. Once the dough is ready, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent air exposure.
  3. Place the wrapped dough in an airtight container or sealable freezer bag.
  4. Label the container or bag with the date of preparation to keep track of its freshness.
  5. For short-term storage, refrigerate the dough for up to a week.
  6. If you plan to use the dough within a month, store it in the freezer.

When the time comes to bake your cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator or freezer and allow it to warm up slightly. This step ensures that the dough is pliable and ready to be rolled and cut. Follow the baking instructions provided in the Shortbread Cookies Recipe for delicious, homemade shortbread cookies that are sure to impress.

Storage Duration Location
Up to a week Refrigerator
Up to a month Freezer

Variations and Additions to Shortbread Cookies

While classic shortbread cookies are delicious on their own, you can take them to the next level by adding various flavors and ingredients. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to create unique and delectable treats. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Elevate your shortbread cookies by incorporating toasted pecans! The rich and nutty flavor of the pecans pairs perfectly with the buttery goodness of the cookies. Simply finely chop the toasted pecans and mix them into the dough before baking. These cookies will delight your taste buds with every bite.

2. Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

For all the chocolate lovers out there, try dipping your shortbread cookies in melted chocolate. Whether you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate, the combination of the smooth chocolate coating and buttery cookie base is simply irresistible. Allow the chocolate to set before enjoying these indulgent treats.

3. Lemon-Infused Shortbread Cookies

Add a refreshing twist to your shortbread cookies by incorporating the bright and zesty flavor of lemon. Simply zest a lemon and mix it into the dough for a burst of citrusy goodness. You can also drizzle a lemon glaze over the cooled cookies for an extra tangy kick.

4. Cinnamon Sugar Shortbread Cookies

For a cozy and comforting treat, sprinkle your shortbread cookies with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar before baking. The warm and fragrant combination of cinnamon and butter will fill your kitchen with a delightful aroma. These cookies are perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea or coffee.

Variation Ingredients Instructions
Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies Shortbread cookie dough, toasted pecans 1. Finely chop the toasted pecans.
2. Mix the pecans into the shortbread cookie dough.
3. Shape the dough into cookies and bake according to the recipe instructions.
4. Allow the cookies to cool before serving.
Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies Shortbread cookie dough, melted chocolate 1. Bake the shortbread cookies according to the recipe instructions.
2. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
3. Dip each cookie halfway into the melted chocolate.
4. Place the dipped cookies on a lined baking sheet and allow the chocolate to set.
Lemon-Infused Shortbread Cookies Shortbread cookie dough, lemon zest (optional), lemon glaze (optional) 1. Mix the lemon zest into the shortbread cookie dough.
2. Shape the dough into cookies and bake according to the recipe instructions.
3. If desired, drizzle the cooled cookies with a lemon glaze.
Cinnamon Sugar Shortbread Cookies Shortbread cookie dough, cinnamon, sugar 1. Sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over the shaped shortbread cookie dough.
2. Bake according to the recipe instructions.
3. Allow the cookies to cool before enjoying.

These are just a few examples of how you can customize your shortbread cookies. Don’t be afraid to try new flavor combinations and have fun exploring different variations. Whether you prefer a classic buttery shortbread or want to add a twist, there are endless possibilities to create delicious shortbread cookies that will satisfy your sweet cravings.

The Secret to Great Shortbread Cookies

The secret to making great traditional shortbread cookies lies in a few key factors:

  1. Salt: Ensure your shortbread cookies are properly seasoned by using the right amount of salt. It helps to bring out the flavors of the butter, sugar, and flour.
  2. Thickness: Aim for a thickness of around 3/4 inch when rolling out the dough. This results in a golden crust with a crispy edge and a tender center.
  3. Baking Time: Pay attention to the baking time and make sure to achieve a golden and toasted color on the edges of the cookies. This enhances the flavor and creates a delightful texture.

To achieve the perfect traditional shortbread cookies, remember these important tips and techniques. Your cookies will be a delicious treat that everyone will love!

Ingredients for Shortbread Cookies

To create delicious homemade shortbread cookies, you will need the following simple and straightforward ingredients:

Unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar
Pure vanilla extract
All-purpose flour
Kosher salt (optional)

These key ingredients are the foundation for creating the perfect shortbread cookies. The combination of rich butter, sweet confectioners’ sugar, delicate vanilla extract, and all-purpose flour creates a melt-in-your-mouth texture and irresistible flavor.

While the addition of kosher salt is optional, it can enhance the overall taste of the cookies by adding a subtle savory element. Feel free to adjust the amount of salt according to your personal preference.

Now that you have gathered the necessary ingredients, let’s proceed to the next section to learn how to make these delectable shortbread cookies.

Freezing Shortbread Dough

Shortbread dough is incredibly versatile and can be easily frozen for future use. Whether you want to save some dough for later or prepare ahead of time, freezing shortbread dough is a convenient option. Just follow these simple steps to ensure your dough stays fresh and ready to bake whenever you desire.

  1. Wrap it tight: Before freezing the shortbread dough, make sure to wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn and maintain its freshness. You can use plastic wrap or airtight containers to keep the dough well-sealed.
  2. Pre-cut or whole: Depending on your preference, you can freeze the shortbread dough in its whole piece or pre-cut it into desired shapes and sizes. Freezing it pre-cut allows for easy portion control and eliminates the need for extra steps later on.
  3. Label and date: To keep track of your frozen shortbread dough, it’s helpful to label and date the packaging. This way, you’ll know exactly how long it has been in the freezer and easily find it when needed.
  4. Baking from frozen: When you’re ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw the frozen shortbread dough. Simply transfer it directly to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and follow the recipe instructions for baking time and temperature.

By freezing shortbread dough, you can enjoy freshly baked cookies at any time without the hassle of making the dough from scratch. It’s a time-saving technique that allows you to indulge in the deliciousness of homemade shortbread cookies whenever the craving strikes.

A Testimonial on the Convenience of Freezing Shortbread Dough:

“Freezing shortbread dough has been a game-changer for me! As a busy mom, being able to have fresh cookies within reach without the need for extensive prep time is a lifesaver. Now, I can have warm, buttery shortbread cookies ready for my family in no time. It’s a convenience I can’t live without!” – Jennifer, a happy home baker.

Thick or Thin Shortbread Cookies?

The thickness of your shortbread cookies is a matter of personal preference. For classic shortbread cookies, a thickness of around 3/4 inch is recommended. However, if you want to add additional flavors or spices, you can roll the dough out thinner and cut smaller cookies for a more concentrated taste experience. Adjust the baking time accordingly.

Adding Flavor Variations

If you’re looking to experiment with different flavors, rolling the dough thinner allows for more surface area to absorb the added ingredients. Whether it’s a sprinkle of cinnamon, a touch of lemon zest, or a dusting of cocoa powder, these additions will infuse your shortbread cookies with delightful flavors.

Try adding toasted chopped nuts, like almonds or pecans, for a delightful crunch.

Mini Shortbread Bites

If you’re craving bite-sized treats, rolling the dough thinner and cutting smaller cookies is the way to go. Not only do these mini shortbread bites make a charming addition to any dessert platter, but they also allow the flavors to intensify, creating a more pronounced taste with each delectable bite.

  1. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness, aiming for around 1/4 inch for mini shortbread bites.
  2. Use a small cookie cutter or even a bottle cap to cut out the dough into small rounds or shapes.
  3. Bake for a slightly shorter time than the recommended baking time for larger cookies, as the smaller size will cook faster.

Whether you prefer thick or thin, the key to achieving perfect shortbread cookies lies in the careful balance of ingredients and baking time.


Shortbread cookies are a timeless favorite that can be enjoyed year-round. With this easy recipe, you can make delicious homemade shortbread cookies that are sure to impress. Whether you prefer them thick or thin, plain or with added flavors, shortbread cookies are a delightful treat for any occasion. So grab your apron and get baking!


How do you know when shortbread is cooked?

The cookies should just be starting to change color on the bottom when ready to take out of the oven.

Are shortbread cookies and sugar cookies the same?

While both are types of cookies, shortbread cookies have a different texture and flavor profile compared to sugar cookies.

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