Is it really the holidays without a classic shortbread cookies recipe? These melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are sweet and buttery, with a crisp, crumbly bite.
The fluffy and smooth creaming of the butter and sugars make these shortbread cookies hard to stay away from.
Reasons you'll love this recipe
- EASY: You only need five ingredients for this shortbread cookies recipe! You also can make the cookie dough all in just one same bowl!
- FESTIVE: Shortbread cookies at Christmas? You know you have at least one of these melt-in-your-mouth cookies every year. They are just too hard to resist during the holiday season; everyone is making them!
- DELICIOUS: I am telling you, these cookies will seriously melt in your mouth when you take a bite. Powdered sugar is a key ingredient in making this happen.
- BUTTER: Unsalted or salted butter will do. I always opt for salted, and add the extra salt anyways. We all know salt makes everything taste just a tad better. But if you use salted butter, feel free to omit the extra salt. Use 1 cup of softened butter.
- SUGAR: To sweeten up these cookies use a ¼ cup of granulated sugar and ½ a cup of powdered/confectioners sugar.
- SALT: Just a dash to elevate the delicious flavour of these cookies. You need ¼ teaspoon.
- FLOUR: This recipe uses all-purpose flour. You will need 2 and ⅓ cups.
- BAKING SHEET: You will need at least 1 baking sheet for baking the cookies. It will be even more helpful if you have 2 so you can pop in another batch once the other batch is done baking.
- MIXER: For combining the ingredients/cookie dough use an electric mixer.
- MIXING BOWLS: You will need just 1 medium-sized mixing bowl to combine the ingredients.
- ROLLING PIN: For rolling out the cookie dough before you start shaping your cookies!
- PARCHMENT PAPER: This is key for rolling out the cookie dough to avoid sticking to the rolling pin.
- COOKIE CUTTERS: To make your favourite Christmas shapes! If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can also use the rim of a cup.
- MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS: For measuring the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 325° F or 163° C.
- Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Add the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Do not over-mix.
- Add the flour, and mix until combined with the other ingredients.
- Place the cookie dough mixture in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Form the cookie dough mixture into a rough ball and place it on a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Add a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until ¼ - ½ an inch thick.
- Use cookie cutters to create the cookies. Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Place leftover dough in a mixing bowl and place it back in the refrigerator.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove if you see any golden colour appearing.
- Once cookies are fully cooled, dust them with additional powdered sugar using a sieve strainer (optional).
- Repeat steps 6-9 for any remaining cookie dough left in the fridge.
Recipe expert tips
- Use softened butter. For this recipe, you need to cream together the butter and sugars for the cookie dough batter, and the only way to do this is if your butter is at room temperature. If it's too cold or if it melted, you won’t be able to cream it. If you forgot to pull your butter out, no worries! Just microwave it for 10-15 seconds until it becomes slightly soft.
- Chill the dough. It's tempting to skip this step, but this will make it much easier to roll the dough property and shape the cookies. Chilling the dough will allow the dough to firm up and be super helpful when shaping the cookies.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. Check on the cookies a couple of times before the bake time finishes, and if you see any browning pull the cookies out! A little browning is OK, but you want to avoid it as much as possible to have the classic pale shortbread cookie look.
- Use a spatula to transfer the cookies. To transfer the cookie dough shapes to the baking sheets, slide a spatula under the cookie for easy transfer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do not grease your parchment paper. These cookies are already very buttery, so you should avoid adding additional grease to the baking sheet as it could cause the cookies to spread. Also, you can add more flour! A lot of shortbread recipes double the amount of butter, and that’s why I’ve added an additional ⅓ of flour to prevent spreading. Lastly, chill the dough!
Shortbread cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.