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Shortbread Cookies

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close up shot of a pile of Shortbread Cookies on a plate
These easy shortbread cookies are simple to make and come out of the oven perfectly baked with a buttery flavor that everyone will love.
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Table of Contents
  1. Shortbread Cookies Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Shortbread Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This scrumptious classic shortbread cookies recipe creates crispy, light buttery cookies. And with just five ingredients and seven steps, who knew it could be so easy to make these delicious homemade cookies? 

close up overhead shot of Shortbread Cookies on a cooling rack

Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

Shortbread Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need: 

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract 
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

COCOA: To make chocolate shortbread cookies, simply swap out a couple of tablespoons of flour for two tablespoons of cocoa powder. They are absolutely delicious this way. 

DRIED FRUITS AND NUTS: Oftentimes, you will see shortbread cookies garnished with dried fruit or nuts. Some ideas are raisins, dried cranberries or apricots, pecans, peanuts, or cashews. Any combination of these can be used! 

DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE: Another wonderful variation for these butter shortbread cookies is dipping them in melted chocolate. I love to serve them this way with a steaming cup of coffee. 

How to Make This Shortbread Cookies Recipe

STEP ONE: In a large bowl, add butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Using a hand mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and continue beating on low speed until combined. 

PRO TIP:

Make sure to use room temperature butter so that all of the ingredients combine fully.

Shortbread Cookies process shot of ingredients blended together in a bowl

STEP TWO: Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and beat on low speed, stop and scrape down the bowl, and then continue beating until well combined. 

Shortbread Cookies process shot of ingredients blended together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Shape the dough into a rectangle block the same width as you want your cookies to be. Wrap in plastic wrap, then firm up your edges by pressing the rectangle block on the counter, and then chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. 

dough shaped into a rectangle

STEP FOUR: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife to cut ½-inch thick rectangles from the shortbread dough.

STEP FIVE: Place cut cookies on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Use a fork to make the hole pattern on the top of the cookie. 

Shortbread Cookies process shot of holes poked into the cookie dough with a fork

STEP SIX: Bake cookies for 6 minutes, and then rotate the baking sheet in the oven. Continue baking an additional 6 to 7 minutes, or until the cookies are barely starting to brown.

PRO TIP:

As each oven is a bit different, it’s important to keep an eye on the cookies while they are baking. You don’t want these cookies brown at all. Take them out of the oven and allow them to set up on the baking sheet if needed

Shortbread Cookies baked on a baking sheet

STEP SEVEN: Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheet. 

STEP EIGHT: Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to allow them to cool completely. 

PRO TIP:

Don’t leave the cookies on the baking sheet to cool fully, as they will continue to bake and get too brown that way.

How To Serve

These delicious cookies would be a great option to make for cookie exchanges during the holiday season. Add our Christmas pinwheels and peppermint snowball cookies for a trio of tasty treats.

Be sure to try out these other traditional and delicious cookie recipes. These soft gingerbread cookies and pumpkin spice jello cookies are full of flavor.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: You can store these buttery shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for one week. 

IN THE FREEZER: To keep longer, store these sweet treats in an airtight container and pop them in the freezer. They will last for 3 weeks to 1 month this way. 

a pile of Shortbread Cookies on a plate

I never knew that it could be so easy to make light and crispy shortbread cookies from the comfort of my home. This recipe is simple, with just five ingredients and seven steps to the instructions. It makes for a light buttery cookie that everyone goes crazy for! 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze the unbaked cookies?

The dough for this shortbread cookie recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer until you are ready to bake them. Thaw and bake them when you are ready to enjoy them.

Can I use cookie cutters with these cookies?

This shortbread cookie recipe will be too soft to create shapes with cookie cutters. Our no-spread sugar cookies are perfect for cookie cutters.

Do I have to chill the dough?

To achieve soft cookies and prevent these simple shortbread cookies from spreading in the oven, the soft dough needs a little bit of chilling time in the fridge.

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close up shot of a pile of Shortbread Cookies on a plate

Shortbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These easy shortbread cookies are simple to make and come out of the oven perfectly baked with a buttery flavor that everyone will love.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, add butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Using a hand mixer, beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and continue beating on low until combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and beat on low, stop and scrape down the bowl, and then continue beating until well combined.
  • Shape the dough into a rectangle block the same width as you want your cookies to be. Wrap in plastic wrap, then firm up your edges by pressing the rectangle block on the counter, and then chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut ½-inch thick rectangles from the dough, then place the cut cookies on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Use a fork to make the hole pattern on the top of the cookie. Bake for 6 minutes and then rotate the baking sheet in the oven. Continue baking an additional 6 to 7 minutes or until the cookies are barely starting to brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheet.
  • Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Make sure to use room temperature butter so that all of the ingredients combine fully.
  • As each oven is a bit different, it’s important to keep an eye on the cookies while they are baking. You don’t want these cookies brown at all. Take them out of the oven and allow them to set up on the baking sheet if needed.
  • Don’t leave the cookies on the baking sheet to cool fully, as they will continue to bake and get too brown that way.

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 292IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
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