Try this recipe if you are looking for the best shortbread cookies - It is perfectly buttery, very lightly crispy, and not overly sweet. Simply the best ones I ever had.
Make it with any shape, size, and thickness, and enjoy it for many occasions!
📌 Table of Contents
- It's incredibly light yet crispy - It breaks in a second when you bite.
- It can hold shapes pretty well - It's perfect for cut-out cookies.
- It's not overly sweet - just enough sugar is added to enjoy the flavor.
- It's perfectly buttery - the amazing flavor spreads in your mouth.
🍪 This is my go-to cookie recipe for various projects besides butter cookies and icebox cookies. Unlike other recipes, this one doesn't contain eggs, making it possible to make the light and crumbly texture!
📌 You'll learn essential baking tips such as:
- How to make cookies with the creaming method
- If we should whip butter and why
- How to make this cookie with cold butter using a food processor.
- Tips for cutting the dough with cookie cutters beautifully
- How to make pressed shortbread cookies using the recipe.
- How to make chocolate-covered shortbread cookies
... and more!
Let's get started.
📌 What's In Shortbread Cookies?
- Unsalted butter
- It's important to use soft butter for all the ingredients to incorporate well.
- Powdered sugar
- It creates a lighter texture.
- Vanilla extract
- Use regular vanilla extract.
- All-purpose flour
- It's important to level the surface when measuring it with a cup to avoid adding too much. I recommend using a scale to get the most accurate result.
- Cornstarch adds such a nice, lighter crispiness. It's possible to make it without it and use all-purpose flour only. But I feel the difference is very noticeable.
- The little bit of saltiness makes it taste just perfect!
📌 How To Make Shortbread Cookies
Now, let me share detailed tips on each step, which are all crucial for successful shortbread cookies.
Step 1: Mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
Mix it at low speed initially to prevent the powdered sugar from scattering everywhere, and gradually speed up. Stop as soon as it looks creamy:
You need medium to medium-high speed to break down the powdered sugar and combine them evenly.
- Use soft butter. Leave it at room temperature to make it soft. It allows all the ingredients to mix easily.
- Scrape off the side and bottom of the bowl on the way to remove the powdered sugar attached.
- When you continue whipping butter, it contains more air, and the texture of the cookies gets lighter. ...which is fine, but it also spreads more in the oven as a con. Adjust how much you want to whip as you like!
Step 2: Add all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt.
Mix them at low speed first and gradually speed up until incorporated well:
Scrape off the side and bottom of the bowl again to remove the flours attached.
Step 3: Roll the dough.
One last time, check if it's even and form a ball:
I divide it in half this time to roll it a bit easier.
- I am using parchment paper to roll the dough this time - By doing that and not dusting additional flour on the working surface, cookies remain very lightly crispy.
- You can decide how thick you want it to be! Just note that:
- The baking time gets longer when it's thicker.
- It spreads more in the oven when it's thicker.
- I rolled it into about one-quarter inch this time.
Step 4: Cut it with a cookie cutter.
Poke them with a fork, make patterns with cookie cutters or anything you like, and have fun!
You can collect the left dough and repeat the process!
- You can cut the dough with cookie cutters right after it's made when it's soft but treat it gently. Chill a little bit more if you like!
- I often chill the dough completely until it gets firm to cut with cookie cutters. But the dough gets stuck in the cookie cutter I'm using in the image above. It's a struggle to try taking it out! It shouldn't be a problem with cookie cutters the tops are not covered.
- You can make about 3 - 4 dozen (with the size and thickness) using one batch of the recipe.
Step 5: Bake.
Chill the cut-out dough in the fridge before for about one hour baking them. By doing it, the glutens in flour get rested and create a slightly better texture. And the surface of cookies tends to stay more even, although the difference is not drastic with this recipe.
Bake at 350 F | 175 C (Preheated) for about 13 - 15 minutes or longer until the edge gets lightly golden brown.
* Bake longer depending on the thickness and size of the cookies, oven, etc.
📌 Enjoy Many Variations!
1. Coat It With Chocolate.
You can dip the cookies in chocolate to make them fancy. Sprinkle any topping you like while the chocolate is wet.
Should we temper chocolate?
I recommend tempering chocolate when using couverture chocolate since it could not set properly or get fat bloom without tempering.
It's unnecessary to do it with compound chocolate, such as chocolate chips.
2. Pressed Shortbread Cookies
I used half batch of the recipe for the 8-inch (20 cm) tart pan. Add any patterns you like: Cut it and poke it with a fork. The dough will spread in the oven anyway, but use the lines as a guideline to cut later.
Bake at 350 F | 175 C (Preheated) for 35 - 40 minutes or longer until the surface gets lightly golden brown.
While it's hot, cut and divide them.
- Chill the dough for about one hour before baking to let glutens in flour rest.
- I recommend cutting it for the first 10 minutes. It gets a little bit harder to cut after that. You can remove it from the pan after it cools enough.
- As an option, you can bake it again at 300 F | 150 C for 25 - 30 minutes to make the texture flakier. You can skip it if you don't care for it. without baking it twice, it still has a nice crispy texture. (See the images below.)
3. How To Make It With A Food Processor
Process all the flour, salt, vanilla, and cold cubed butter until it gets doughy.
💬 I like to switch on and off with the pulse. I feel it blends more evenly that way!
At last, check if it's evenly incorporated. And everything else is the same as directed earlier.
📌 Uses For Shortbread
Enjoy the simple shortbread cookies in many ways, such as:
- A gift: Wrap them nicely in gift bags to share with friends, coworkers, teachers, etc!
- A cookie box: It is perfect as a holiday cookie box for your family and friends.
- Tea time snack: It pairs perfectly with milk, tea, hot cocoa, coffee, etc. What's your favorite drink to enjoy with cookies?😊
- Kids activity: This would be a fun weekend project with your kids. The dough is not too sticky and relatively easy to roll.
📌 Frequently Asked Questions
Put cookies into an airtight container (With silica gel if you have it to keep them dried). You can store them at room temperature for about 1 week or about 10 days in the fridge. I usually store them in the fridge if we are not consuming them within 1 - 2 days.
Yes. I tested baking both chilled and soft cookies, and the soft cookies spread slightly more in the oven, but the difference was minor. The difference was bigger with butter cookies, so I'm guessing it may be due to eggs.
That being said, I still recommend chilling them in the fridge for about one hour before baking to rest glutens in flour. ...If you have time!
Yes, you can - Add the same amount of all-purpose flour instead. I highly recommend adding cornstarch if you love a light crispiness.
📌 VIDEO: Watch How To Make It!
To learn how to make shortbread cookies visually and have a deeper understanding of all, watch the video!
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📌 Other Cookie Recipes
📌 Printable Recipe
💬 If you loved this recipe, please share your feedback on this post! I always love hearing how you enjoyed it with your friends and family at home.
Simple Shortbread Cookies
- Stand mixer
- Parchment paper
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie cutters The rectangle cookie cutter
- Baking tray
- 8 oz Unsalted butter 2 US sticks
- 3.1 oz Powdered sugar ¾ US cup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 10 oz AP flour 2 ⅙ US cups *Level the surface.
- 0.9 oz Cornstarch 3 tablespoon *Level the surface.
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract:Mix them at low speed initially to prevent the powdered sugar from scattering everywhere, and gradually speed up. Stop as soon as it looks creamy.Scrape off the side and bottom of the bowl on the way to remove the powdered sugar attached.8 oz Unsalted butter, 3.1 oz Powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Add all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt to 1 and mix:Mix them at low speed first and gradually speed up until incorporated well.Scrape off the side and bottom of the bowl on the way to remove the flours attached.10 oz AP flour, 0.9 oz Cornstarch, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Roll the dough:Check if it's even and form a ball. Roll into your desired thickness. I rolled it into about one-quarter inch this time.
- Cut it with a cookie cutter:You can cut the dough with cookie cutters right after it's made when it's soft, but treat it gently. Chill a little bit more if you like.Poke them with a fork, make patterns with cookie cutters or anything you like, and have fun!
- Bake:Let the cut-out dough rest in the fridge for about one hour before baking them.Bake at 350 F | 175 C (Preheated) for about 13 - 15 minutes or longer until the edge gets lightly golden brown.* Bake longer depending on the thickness and size of the cookies, oven, etc.
How to store it:Put cookies into an airtight container (With silica gel if you have it to keep them dried). You can store them at room temperature for about 1 week or about 10 days in the fridge. I usually store them in the fridge if we are not consuming them within 1 - 2 days.
To make pressed cookies:Bake at 350 F | 175 C (Preheated) for 35 - 40 minutes or longer until the surface gets lightly golden brown. Adjust the time and temperature depending on the thickness and size of the cookies, oven, etc.
- Cut and divide it while it's still hot, and let them cool enough before taking them out from the pan.
- Bake them again at 300 F | 150 C for 25 - 30 minutes if you want the texture to be slightly flakier. (optional)
- I made a half batch and used an 8-inch (20 cm) tart pan today.
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💬 A Sprinkle Of Life
Rei said, "Is this a cray dough?"
She tried rolling cookie dough and cut it for the first time! She was so focused❤️ I love watching her focusing on something. So peaceful.