Shortbread is a versatile cookie loved by many. Whether you are looking for a Holiday cookie or an everyday cookie, Shortbread is there for you. Keep it simple and plain or dip it in chocolate, coat it with chocolate, add your favorite chopped chocolate or dried fruits. You can even choose between sweet or savory Shortbread cookie, there are just so many variations out there. All you need is a great shortbread base recipe and you can go wild and be creative with your variations.
Shortbread is my favorite cookie of all time, more than chocolate chips, more than anything else. I love everything about it. The creamy buttery texture, the simple ingredients and easy process of making it, and the multiple variations I can make from a simple base recipe. If there is only 1 cookie that I could make an keep, I will choose shortbread.
I have made quite a lot of variations lately, most of them I had already shared in my website and some are still waiting to be shared. In today’s post, I would like to share with you 10 Shortbread Cookie variations. From the classic Shortbread that is plain but elegant looking, to chocolate coated or topped shortbread cookie. The cookie comes in different shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common, they all taste amazing! Whichever you choose, guaranteed you will love it.
Shortbread as I alreadyy mentioned is a very simple cookie to make. You can make them in food processor, standmixer or by using hand held electric mixer. You can use cookie cutter to create different shapes, you can have them in sticks, or shape them in a log like ice-box cookie, or scoop them for a faster quicker process. For Shortbread that require using hand-mixer or stand mixer, a lot of times this will require a softened butter. This kind of shortbread is typically the one that you scoop out to shape. They are softer than the one that uses cookie cutter. Depending on which type of cookie you are making, you may need softened or chilled butter. Here is a simple tip on how to soften butter.
How to Softened Butter
- Room Temperature: Take the butter out from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before using it, you can even take it out at night for use the following day. Remember, length of time to soften the butter at room temperature depends the temperature in your kitchen. If you leave in a humid area, or if you are making it during Summer when it is hot, you may not need 1 hour to get the butter softened. The measure is when you press your fingers on the butter, it should make a dent, but the butter should not be melting and greasy.
- Microwave Steam: Worst comes to worst, you forgot to take out the butter and you need to make the cookie. What you do is put 2 cups of water in the microwave and microwave the water for 2-3 minutes. Next, put the diced butter inside the microwave and leave it there, check at 10 minutes time to see if already softened. The steam inside the butter should help softened the butter. Do NOT microwave the butter as this is very risky, the butter could get greasy and oily if you ended up over microwaving it.
Tips in Making Shortbread Cookie
As simple as it is, it won’t hurt to keep some tips to make sure we get a shortbread cookie worth sharing. Keep these 4 tips in mind
- 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.
- Use Softened Butter: If the shortbread cookie you are making requires scooping, then use softened butter, otherwise food processor will be best for chilled and hard butter. For me the best, easy and even way to have a softened butter is by leaving the butter on the counter top at least 1 hour before using it. This brings down the butter to room temperature making it soft enough for the mixer to break and mix.
- 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. Aim for similar size if not exact.
- Do NOT Over Bake: You’ve probably heard this countless times when making a cookie, Do NOT over bake. Shortbread cookie is a 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. Also, size and thickness matter. Adjust your baking time depending on the size of the cookie your are making, or if baking it individual or on a pan.
Can I Use Granulated Sugar Instead of Icing Sugar
I used icing sugar for my shortbread recipe. Technically, you use granulated sugar 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.
Can I Use a Cutter to Shape the Cookie?
Yes you can. Most of the shortbread cookie were made using cookie cutter. The rounds are the most common ones, but during the Holiday season, you can see a lot of different shapes like star, Christmas tree, candy cane, snow flakes etc. You can use cookie cutter for a chilled more stable shortbread dough. You can also bake it in a pan, cut them into squares or sticks. I even made one shaped like a pumpkin.
How to Freeze Shortbread Cookies
One of the thing I like about shortbread cookie is it freezes well. To freeze the unbaked 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 dough into a log shape and tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Store in a ziplock bag and freeze up to 2 -3 months. Thaw for about an hour before slicing and baking.
Do NOT coat the shortbread with chocolate or any glaze if you plan to freeze it after baking. It is best to freeze it plain and coat it later when you plain to serve it.
Shortbread cookie are great for base in making tarts or square bars. Do not limit yourself to using it as a cookie dough.
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.
More Shortbread Cookie Variation
Classic Shortbread Cookie
This is where it all started. This Classic Shortbread Cookie was the starting base for all my shortbread cookie variations. It is easy, simple, buttery, creamy and absolutely hands down delicious. This is one of the most visited recipe in my website.
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. This Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie is just what we all need. Watch the video to see how to make it.
Strawberry 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.
White Chocolate Matcha Dipped Shortbread Cookie
This Matcha Glazed Shortbread Cookie is the same creamy and buttery shortbread cookie made special by adding a white chocolate matcha glazed on top.
Shortbread Pecan Cookie
Shortbread cookie is one Holiday cookie that is a favorite of the crowd. They are so easy to make, with simple ingredients and steps, and they taste absolutely crazy good. Today, I am sharing another shortbread variation, my Shortbread Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie with 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? Go ahead and scroll down, but not too fast though. Take your time to drool over this thick creamy shortbread cookie.
Shortbread Jack-O-Lantern Cookie
You do not need any holiday or special occasion to treat yourself, so whether you are celebrating Halloween or not, there’s always a reason to make this cookie, and that is because you deserve it. So let’s make this adorable Jack-O-Lantern Chocolate Filled Shortbread Cookie.
Shortbread Stick Cookie
When you think making shortbread cookie is very easy, well I made it even easier and simpler. This Shortbread Cookie Stick recipe do not require any mixer or food processor, no rolling of dough, and no need for cookie cutter too. A one bowl super easy way to make shortbread cookie. This is a huge game changer on how you make shortbread cookie. Check it out.
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, it is buttery, it is creamy and now made even more special with the addition of chopped Toblerone in the cookie dough. Once you try this recipe, you wouldn’t be looking for other shortbread recipe, because this is so far the BEST simple shortbread recipe
Almond Shortbread Bar
Creamy and buttery Almond Shortbread base with a thick layer of melted dark chocolate on top and bits and pieces of chopped Almonds. A shortbread cookie bar that doesn’t need any rolling and cutting which makes the process easier than it already is. This is something that you should definitely give a try. You won’t regret it, promise!
Shortbread Pecan Icebox Cookie
Make-ahead ice box cookies are something that you would want to keep especially during the holiday season, this recipe particularly :). They freeze well that’s why they are called ice-box cookies and they are super easy to make. Make it, shape it, freeze it and bake it later. This Shortbread Pecan Icebox Cookie is a great emergency make-ahead cookie anytime of the year.
- How To Freeze Cookies (Bake and Unbaked)
- How To Store Cookie Properly So They Last Longer
- Holiday Cookie Platter, The More The Merrier 🙂
- Classic Shortbread Cookie
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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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