Easy and simple Shortbread Cookie, it’s buttery, creamy and simply delicious. Once you try this recipe, you wouldn’t be looking for other shortbread recipe, because this is so far the BEST simple shortbread recipe. Watch how I made this cookie.
This Shortbread Cookie brings back good memories of my 1st Disneyland Trip. Disneyland is not only for kids, it also caters to adults even to the ones who are not crazy with rides (like me). There are so many things to do, see and eat! The food itself is part of the experience. They made even the simplest food taste amazing. The tomato soup is one of my favorite, the Mickey ice cream sandwich and the Mickey shortbread cookie! I had that cookie almost everyday and I even bought few pieces to take home. I wish I could have those here, but since I cannot, I would settle to something similar.
This is a four ingredients cookie that taste so good! The ingredients are so basic that you probably have most of these in your pantry. They are very versatile cookie to have on hand for snacking or gift giving. You cut this cookie into different shapes and sizes, use a cookie press and make a pretty flower shortbread or have it as a base for tarts. You can also coat or dipped it in melted chocolate, or sandwich it with jam or frosting as filling.
My Other Cookie Videos
Not feeling like having a Shortbread Cookie, check out my other cookie videos for inspiration.
The steps are very simple, the ingredients are very basic, you only have few key things to remember if you want to have a nice buttery crisp smooth shortbread cookie. Since this cookie does not have a lot of ingredients, a lot of the taste will be coming from the butter and vanilla extract for flavoring. So, use a good quality butter and only pure Vanilla Extract (if using). Spending few more for quality ingredients can go along way. Let’s get started!
This dough can be made using a stand mixer, hand mixer or food processor. The instructions below uses a stand mixer, while the video uses food processor. As you can see, using food processor is the easiest way to make this cookie dough. But you do not have to have one, a stand mixer or hand mixer is the common way most people do it. The only difference is the state of the butter. When using stand or hand mixer, use softened butter. This will allow the mixture to combine easily. While when using food processor, since it can easily handle hard butter, cold butter is the best one to use. Food processor method is simply putting all ingredients in the processor. Here is how you do it.
Make Shortbread Cookie With or Without Food Processor, It’s Possible
Using Food Processor – Recommended
There are two ways in which I normally make my shortbread cookie, but often times I used my food processor to make the dough. Using a food processor allow me to use a really cold butter that’s straight out of the fridge. Using cold butter makes the dough firmer and more manageable, it lessen the spreading of the cookie and early browning of the cookie during baking. Oftentimes, I don’t even have to chill the dough as it is good enough to to immediately roll and cut. But there’s exception, Summer time! Yes, I find that making a mostly butter based cookie is tricky when the weather it hot. The heat in the kitchen soften the dough quite easily, which means more chilling is required before rolling and cutting it. But that’s me really an issue here, we only have 4 months of warm weather, and there’s always my fridge to help me chill the dough. So, if you have a food processor, take it out and make use of it to make Shortbread Cookie. It will be such an easy breezy process.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this Shortbread Cookie. Use a room temperature butter and use a hand mixer instead. Hand mixer should be able handle soften butter without any problem. The downside of this method is that the dough will require chilling to make it easier to handle. The cookie dough will be soft and it will be sticky to roll and cut, and so chilling is mandatory. Simply chill the dough in the refrigerator until it is manageable for rolling and cutting. You will know if it was chilled properly when it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or on the surface when you start rolling it, or when it doesn’t break or tear easily. You can also use a soften butter in food processor, just remember when a butter is soften you will need to chill the dough, ALWAYS!
Tips in Making Shortbread Cookie
- Sift the Confectioner’s Sugar: Icing Sugar or confectioners sugar tends to have lumps, so sifting is recommended for a smoother cookie texture. Sift the sugar first using a flour sifter of a regular sieve then measure the required amount.
- Chill the Dough After Cutting: Regardless if you use soften butter or cold butter, it is still suggested that you chill the cut cookie in the freezer at least 15 – 30 minutes. This is VERY important to help retain the shape when you bake the cookie. A soft cookie when baked will spread a lot, resulting to a thin cookie, and worst a deformed cookie.
- Same Size, Same Thickness: It is very important to have the same size and thickness for the cookies so that they all bake at the same time. If you have some thicker and bigger than the other, it will not be bake the same time as the other pieces. 1/4-inch thickness is the ideal thickness for this cookies. Make it too thin and it will get burnt or crunchy too soon. You can use a ruler to measure the thickness. Sometimes it is quite easy to spot a thin cookie once you get the hang of making it. I would say thicker is better than thinner. Thicker will require more baking time, but at least it will not burn as easily when you have it thin.
- Do NOT Over Bake: You’ve probably heard this countless times when making a cookie, Do NOT over bake. Bake at 18 – 20 minutes only, check at 15 minutes mark. If the side starts to brown already while the center is still white and soft, that is ok. Shortbread cookie are very fragile cookie, plus it is a butter based cookie which makes it susceptible over baking if not monitored. Take the cookie out when you notice the side starts browning while the top is still pale. The cookie will continue to cook as it cools. Baking time should be adjusted if baking a frozen shortbread cookie straight from the freezer. Add 1-2 minutes (more or less).
Can I Use Granulated Sugar Instead of Icing Sugar
Technically, you can but the texture will NOT be the same. Icing sugar have a fine powdered texture that makes the cookie smooth and creamy. It also blends well, and dissolve easily thus producing a better cookie texture.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Butter – softened at room temperature if using hand-mixer (If using a food processor, use COLD butter)
- 1/4 cup Confectioner’s /Icing sugar (Sifted – Sift first before measuring) – for sweeter cookie, make it 1/3 cup
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt (you can increase the salt up to 1/2 teaspoon maximum)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (optional)
- 1/3 cup Dipping /Melting Chocolate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a silicone mat or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar using hand mixer (or stand mixer if making a larger batch) for about 1 minute.
- Food Processor Method: Alternatively, this can also be made using a food processor, which is my recommended method just becuase it is faster and easier. No need to manually mix it with your hands as it come together into a cookie dough in juts few minutes. This method gave a better manageable cookie dough, it also lessen spreading of the cookie and early browning while baking. If using this method, use a COLD butter instead of softened butter. Add all ingredients in the food processor and process until dough start to clump together, about 2 minutes.
- Add Dry Ingredient: Add salt and flour and continue to mix until mixture forms a soft dough (it will be crumbly at first, but keep mixing and it will form a dough). Once the mixture becomes crumbly, use your hands to mix the dough until it clumps together to form a cookie dough. You can of course continue using the hand mixer until it start to clump together but be patient as it will take a bit of time using hand-mixer.This is why I suggest mixing it using your hands once it gets crumbly.
- Shape the Cookie Dough: Take the dough out from the bowl and form into a cohesive ball. If it is too soft, wrap it with plastic-wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes or until manageable to shape without sticking to the rolling pin too much. So far I had great success on using it immediately without chilling. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thick on a surface dusted with flour or powdered sugar (recommended) with a well-dusted rolling-pin. If your dough is not sticky, you can skip the dusting of sugar. Cut into rounds (or any shape you like) and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about at least 1-inch apart. Repeat as necessary. The cookie will not spread, the spacing is just for the air circulation and even baking.
- Alternatively, you can also use cookie press to shape the dough. Use the dough without chilling it. If using for cookie press, stick to 1/4-cup icing sugar. Adding more sugar will make the dough more compact and will not be suitable for use in cookie press.
- Other options are to bake it in a 5-inch square or round pan (small batch) or 7 – 8 inch tart pan and cut it into wedges.
- Chill: Chill for 30 minutes – 1 hour in the freezer or leave overnight in the fridge. This will help the cookie hold its shape while it bakes. Do not skip this step as it is crucial to retaining the cookie shape as it bakes especially if you are using more than just basic shape like round or square. You can also freeze the cookie dough up to 3 months. Shape before freezing. No need to thaw when ready to bake.
- Bake: Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, or until the edge of the cookies starts to turn golden brown and the center is still pale and soft. Check on 15 minutes mark to avoid over baking. Let cool on baking sheet.
- Store baked cookies in a resealable container or plastic bag. I like to store mine in the refrigerator but it can also be stored in room temperature provided it is not coated with chocolate.
- Dip in Chocolate (optional, but highly recommended): If you want to coat it with melted chocolate, make sure that the cookies are completely cooled down.
Makes 10 cookies (2 1/4-inch cookie cutter)
How to Freeze Shortbread Cookies
One of the thing I like about shortbread cookie is it freezes well. To freeze the shortbread cookie, you have two options to do this.
- Slice & Freeze: Slice into the size and shape that you like then arrange it in a pan lined with parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until solid hard and no longer sticky. Transfer in a ziplock bag and freeze up to 2 – 3 months.
- Shape as a Log & Freeze: Shape the Shortbread Doug into a log shape and tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Store in a ziplock bag and freeze uo to 2 -3 months. Thaw for about an hour before slicing and baking.
How to Make Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie
If you want to make this cookie extra special and extra sinfully delicious, I highly recommend dipping it in melted chocolate. You only need to add 1 extra step, and that is dipping it in melted chocolate.
- To do this, let the Shortbread Cookie cool down first.
- While waiting for it to cool down, melt your chocolate. If you can find a dipping chocolate, that would be the best option. Dipping chocolate hardens as it cools and is not sticky, unlike chocolate chips that remains slightly sticky even when it solidify. You can find melting or dipping chocolate in specialty store, just ask for a melting or dipping chocolate. If you cannot find one, use at least the baking block chocolate (like Baker’s Chocolate, Ghirardelli, Godiva etc). Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the microwave at 30 seconds interval until completely melted. Do this gradually as chocolate could burn easily when heated in high heat in microwave.
- Alternatively, you can also melt it over a simmering water. Pour water in a pan, bring it to a boil then lower the heat just enough to keep the water hot but not boiling. Transfer the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place it on top of the simmering water, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Keep stirring until fully melted.
- Dip each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate and arrange in a pan lined with parchment paper or on a silicone mat. Leave at room temperature to harden or if you are in a hurry, put it in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating is completely solid.
How to Use Shortbread Cookie Dough as a Tart Crust
This Shortbread cookie dough can be used as tart crust. This makes a perfect tart crust for fruit tarts and custard tarts. It is still the same creamy and butter shortbread, but molded in a tart pan. Watch the video on how to do this.
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I love eating shortbread cookie on its own, but I enjoy it even more when dipped in melted dark chocolate. The smooth buttery texture complements well with the dark chocolate. Every bite melts in your mouth! Such an easy breezy treat for something so deliciously good.
- You can use either flour or powdered sugar to roll out your cookies of it is sticky, but I prefer powdered sugar. Too much flour can toughen the cookie, but as long as you watch the amount of flour, it should be fine.
- Remember, size and thickness matters. The bigger and thicker your cookie, the more baking time you need. So, adjust your baking time accordingly.
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie
If you want to make this cookie extra special and extra sinfully delicious, I highly recommend dipping it in melted chocolate. You only need to add 1 extra step, and that is dipping it in melted chocolate. Watch the video to see how to make it.
Strawberry & White Chocolate Shortbread Cookie
Strawberry & White Chocolate Shortbread Cookie is a lovely delicious twist to my classic Shortbread Cookie recipe. The base is a creamy, buttery shortbread cookie with a layer of white chocolate and Strawberry paste and finish off with slice of fresh Strawberry coated with white chocolate. Every layer of this shortbread is perfection, they just seem to work well together.
Matcha Glazed Shortbread Cookie
This Match Glazed Shortbread Cookie has a smooth, creamy and buttery texture plus a heavenly white chocolate matcha glazed on top. Yes, it is over the top sinfully delicious just like my other Shortbread cookie recipes. Shortbread cookie is one of my favorite cookie of all time. For me, nothing beats a simple satisfying cookie that always comes out perfect. There’s no hit and miss here, what you see is what you get.
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This Shortbread Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie has one unusual ingredient that is normally not found in shortbread cookie. This one ingredient is the secret to a creamy, buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread cookie. Interested?Watch the video now.
Toblerone Shortbread Cookie
Add a twist to your usual shortbread cookie by turning it into this Toblerone Shortbread Cookie. The same simple and easy shortbread that we all love, buttery, creamy and now made even more special with the addition of chopped Toblerone in the cookie dough. Once you try this variation, you will never think of Tobelerone as just a chocolate that you can eat on its own. Watch how I made this cookie.
Shortbread Stick Cookie
This Shortbread Stick Cookie is buttery, creamy and thick. This recipe makes the process even more easier and simpler than it already is. One bowl , no hand mixer needed, no rolling and cutting too. This simplified process will make it easier for you to make it over and over again in such a short time. This means, more shortbread cookie to enjoy and share.
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Categories: Baking, Cookies, Recipe, Shortbread Cookie, Small Batch Recipes, Video, Video Recipes
I Love these cookies; I was wondering if it would be ok to add dried cherries to the dough? Just thought I would ask. Thank you 😊
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Hi Diane, Yes you can add dried cherries. few tips in doing that.
– Do not add too much as dried fruits can absorb a lot of moisture, about 2 – 3 tbsp
– Chop the dried cherries into really small pieces and add 1/2 tsp water. Let sit few minutes to soften the dried cherries
– Sprinkle the chopped cherries in the dough, do not dump all at once so that the pieces gets distributed
Enjoy! I would love to know how it goes when you make it, please let me know. Thanks!
I am going to try this! I was wondering could I add chocolate chips and also, is the butter salted or unsalted?
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I haven’t tried adding chocolate chips, but I can imagine it will work. Let me know when you try it. I used unsalted butter.
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I suggest use the mini chocolate chips instead of the regular size
Can I use granulated sugar instead of the powdered sugar
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Hi Teresa, Yes you can but the texture will not be as smooth as when you use powdered sugar because of the grainy texture of granulated sugar.
I noticed in the recipe it says bake 18-20 minutes, but the “tips” say 8-10 minutes only. What time do you use?
Hi Kirstan. Thank You for catching that and letting me know. I baked it at 350F for 18 – 20 minutes. I updated the Tips section, that was my mistake.
Thanks so much!
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Can you double the recipe and they still turn out good?
I haven’t tried it. Most of the time I end up making 2 separate batch, although juts my guess, I think it should work.
I just doubled the recipe and they all melted on the tray to form one giant cookie. Not sure why it didn’t work out as all the measurements were the same just doubled.
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So sorry to hear that. Did you freeze/chill the dough after cutting them and before baking them? Normally, if the dough is soft,it will sprad out as there is a lot of butter in the dough.
I was wandering if you could use this recipe to make thumbprint cookies?
I haven`t tried it Cristie. Just my guess, it could possibly work. Shape the dough into balls while it is soft. Create a dent in the middle using your thumb then chill the cookie in the freezer at least 15 minutes to avoid spreading. Add jelly or chocolate in the middle then bake. You might need to play around the baking time depending on the size of your cookie.
This recipe tripled perfectly. I added chopped pistachios and drained, chopped maraschino cherries. I made the dough, put it out on the counter and folded the add-ins in by hand, nuts first. I did squeeze the cherries dry of as much juice as I could (even after they drained all morning). The dough didn’t turn colors. The shortbread is incredibly tender and the add-ins were very Christmas-like. They are going on cookie exchange trays. Thanks for the recipe!
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Thanks for letting me know Caroline. I always make only small batch, good to know I can triple it if needed 🙂
Made these in food processor last night, rolled it into a square-ish shaped log and wrapped in wax paper then plastic wrap and placed in the fridge overnight. Today I took it out when my oven was at 350 and cut the log into 1/4” pieces and baked them. I then melted Ghirardelli chocolate chips and coated the tops of them. These are the most delicious and not to sweet. My guests loved them! Thanks for the recipe!
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Your feedback made my day. Thank You for trying my recipe and sharing your experience with it.
Just the perfect recipe for lazy bums like me….made it in the food processor, flattened it to rectangles and made the Scottish shortbread ….. loved them…loved the versatility …can be the icebox or cutout cookies… thanks a million!
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I’m glad it worked for you Nita. This shortbread recipe is one of my favorite and many readers as well.
Sounds absolutely delicious cant wait to make these. Awesome recipe thankyou
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You’re weslome Melissa. Let me know when you give it a try. This is one of my favorite cookie, and a good base to make different kind of variations too
I made this shortbread recipe, exactly as written, in my food processor. I measured my dough to ensure it was 1/4 inch thick. Place my cookies on a tray covered with Silpat. Placed in the freezer for a couple of hours & baked as directed. They came out of the oven looking beautiful. Golden edges with white tops. But, the bottoms were all cupped. Every single cookie had an upwards curve at the bottom. Please tell me what I did wrong. Taste was very good but could have been a bit sweeter. Can more than the 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar be added to the dough?
Thank you for your help.
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Sorry to hear that the bottom did not turned out smooth and flat. I never had a batch that had that kind of issue. I did a bit of a research and some bakers are saying it could be a result of over working the cookie dough, OR uneven heat surface. Maybe next time try to bake using a parchment paper lined baking tray instead of silicone mat. Not sure if that will matter, but some are saying that could be a possible (but not sure) cause.
As for the amount of sugar, I only tried raising from 1/4 to 1/3 cup, haven’t tried doubling it to 1/2 cup. I am guessing that could make the cookie dough a bit dry and might cause a cracking issue, but again, I haven’t tried that amount. Let me know if you do, I would like to know how it goes.
Can I use this recipe for cutouts?
Do I add an egg (white, yolk, or both ) to help bind it?
Can I add meringue powder instead of an egg?
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Yes, this can be use for cut out. Just make sure when working with any shortbread recipe to chill the dough when it gets soft while you are working on it, then chill it again before baking especially if you are using it for cutout cookie
No, you do not need to add egg. This holds just fine. You can test by getting a small amount after mixing the dough and clamping it in your hands. The dough should hold together