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 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 a food processor, use COLD butter)
- 1/4 cup Confectioner’s /Icing sugar (Sifted – Sift first before measuring)
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp 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.
- Food Processor Method: Alternatively, this can also be made using a food processor, which is my recommended method. 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).
- 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. 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.
- 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.
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.
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There’s something for everyone, so check it out and watch some of my videos. You can find all the recipes in my website. Happy Baking
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