This Classic Shortbread Cookies Recipe is so buttery and sweet. This cookie has simple flavor that is loved by many. Serve it at your next Christmas party.
Shortbread cookies are a classic Christmas cookie that is made every year. If you love Christmas cookies and Christmas treats, try my most popular recipes: Lemon Snowflakes, Holiday Pretzel Rings, Peanut Butter Balls, Eggnog Bars, and Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.
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Shortbread Cookie Ingredients
To make this shortbread cookie recipe, you will need the following ingredients (go to the recipe below for exact quantities and instructions):
- Butter: I used salted butter in this recipe because we are putting a lot of sugar into the cookies. If you use unsalted butter, feel free to include 1/8th teaspoon salt to your dough.
- Sugar: I used three different types of sugar for these cookies because each of them add something different. The granulated sugar gives the cookies your classic shortbread flavor. The brown sugar adds a slight caramel flavor, while the powdered sugar gives you a melt in your mouth texture.
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
How to Make Shortbread Cookies
- Make the shortbread dough. Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 1-3 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour and mix well.
- Roll out the dough. Divide dough in half and place parchment paper on top of dough to prevent sticking. Roll out dough with a rolling pin until it is ¼ inches thick (for a softer cookie, roll to ½ inch thick). Cut dough with cookie cutters. Lift dough with a thin spatula and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Poke holes into the center of the dough with a fork.
- Chill the dough. Chill in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or until slightly firm and cool to touch.
- Bake the cookies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take dough out of refrigerator and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies lose their shine and look matte. If your cookie is golden brown, that means it has been cooked for too long. You want to take them out just before they turn brown on the edges.
- Let cool. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
How to Get the Shape for Shortbread Cookies
I used a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter with a fluted edge. You can use different sized cookie cutters, but you may need to adjust bake times depending on how large or small you make your cookies.
Tips for Shortbread Cookies
- I place the parchment paper over the dough because it helps prevent it from sticking. You don’t want to flour your surface because it will leave you with a dry cookie. If you find that your rolling pin is not sticking to the dough there is no need for the parchment paper. I only use it as an extra precaution.
- You can eat these shortbread cookies with jam, chocolate, icing, or just leave them as is. You can’t go wrong with any of those options!
- Poking holes in the cookies before baking adds a little extra character to the cookies, but it also helps prevent bubbles from forming under the dough (which is what happened to me the first time I made these).
Do I Need to Chill the Dough?
When I tried chilling the dough before rolling it, I found that the dough became very crumbly and broke apart easily. I found the to be much easier to work with when I left the dough at room temperature, rolled it out, cut it with the cookie cutters and then chilled the dough before placing it in the oven. Just make sure that your dough is cool to the touch and slightly firm before you take it out of the refrigerator.
You may need to leave the dough in the refrigerator for a couple more minutes if you have handled it and it was very warm when you rolled it out. Also, if you rolled out thicker cookies you may need to chill the dough slightly longer.
You can store your shortbread cookies at room temperature for up to one week as long as it is stored in an airtight container. You can also freeze your shortbread cookies for up to three months for best quality.