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Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies are a traditional holiday cookie. Dress them up in your best winter, holiday or seasonal décor. They taste great plain; with homemade chocolate Ganache and homemade decorator icing for cookies. Put them on a Thanksgiving party tray or decorate them up and put them in a Christmas cookie exchange. They are great for the Easter bunny and any other fun holiday or event you can think of. It’s all in the decorating!

Shortbread Cookies In Christmas Shapes On A Cooling Rack

This shortbread recipe make great cookies and is somewhat forgiving too. I did the ingredient assembly all backwards and they still turned out great!

One sure way to my husband’s romantic heart is shortbread cookies!  Dave is a devoted shortbread cookies fan since FOREVER! The Danish shortbread cookies in the tins? He loves those. But this recipe is close. He doesn’t miss the store bought shortbreads at all when I set a plate of these in front of him.

He also LOVES my Grandma’s shortbread Pressed Spritz cookies recipe. It’s another shortbread cookie dough recipe designed to be put through a cookie dough press. Easy to make and decorate. They are cute!

Short Bread Cookies Made From Scratch By

Shortbread Cookies

Dave very happily entertained himself with his Garden seed catalog while awaiting the first fresh, shortbread cookies of the season. Every once in awhile, I’d wander over with my floury hands and examine a picture he found of a new plant he wanted. 

Pretty soon we sat together, discussing what we will plant next year. We talked over what worked last year and what didn’t. We discussed ideas about things we can improve in the greenhouse and outdoor garden. Munching shortbread cookies and drinking coffee. Happy times!

Homemade Shortbread cookies are versatile! just cut them into shapes to celebrate any holiday you have coming up. Decorate as you like or leave them plain. These cookies are delicious without any additional frosting or sprinkles if you love them as much as my husband does. Make them for a nice chat, as we did with coffee, tea or hot chocolate anytime. Delicious! 

Decorating Shortbread cookies:

Homemade shortbread is always popular. And delicious. And easy to make and bake. Decorating them is a whole new level of challenge if you really want them professional looking. We usually just keep it fun and simple.

  • This recipe makes a nice flat shortbread that is easy to decorate and won’t break easily.
  • Make the cookies in whatever shapes you wish and COOL completely
  • whip up a batch of Royal Decorator icing and adjust the consistency with a drop or two of water.
  • If your handy with a decorator bag use a number 3 tip from Wilton and adjust the icing to stream through the tip evenly with little pressure. Now put the icing where you want it and cover with sprinkles.

The best method of creating truly beautiful shortbread cookies takes a lot of time but it’s a beautiful hobby. Follow these steps:

  1. Create your design plan.
  2. bake and cool the shortbread in your preferred shape. (for this method it’s easiest to choose ONE shape per batch).
  3. Put the different colored icings you need in separate bowls.
  4. Lay out your cooled cookies, fill your decorator bags and set them out for easy reach.
  5. for each color you will outline the colored area and then return to fill in the colored section.
  6. Each color section must dry and set before you begin the next color.
  7. Here’s A video on beginner cookie decorating I found to help you see what I mean. Best of Luck!

Shortbread Cookies Cut Out In Holiday Shapes On A Breadboard


UPDATE: I’m baking Shortbread Cookies with the grandkids today. Kids in the kitchen are one of my favorite events.

Kids love helping with this recipe. Older children can make it themselves. And then set them loose with the icing and sprinkles!

If your baking with young kids as we usually are just spread an even layer of decorator icing over a cookie. Now set the cookie with the liquid icing top in front of your child with plenty of sprinkles, googly eyes or whatever you prefer.

They will create adorable cookies and have a blast doing it. Once the icing sets up the decorated cookies are done. Foodie craft for kids in the kitchen. And they are delicious!

Camilla wanted to show off her decorated shortbread cookie. It was SO fun to let them go with the google eyes and sprinkles. We had such a fun day.

Child Showing Her Decorated Shortbread Cookie

6 year old Camilla is showing off her decorated shortbread cookie gingerbread man. She also gave him buttons on his coat <3

Making and decorating shortbread cookie cutouts is a wonderful foodie craft for the kids. Let them help with the cookie cutter placement on the dough. Bake and cool the cookies then Smear on royal icing and let them decorate as they will. Look at how cute!

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How to Make Shortbread Cookies From Scratch:

This cookie recipe is ridiculously easy. In fact,  almost TOO easy. 


  • You don’t want to over mix or overwork the dough! However, you will need to add flour to the dough and work it as you shape the dough or cut it out.
  • This dough is very soft and can be tricky to get a good shape until enough flour is worked in.
  • If your dough is too soft to work with, refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so until it gets firm, but not hard.
Shortbread Cookies

This is how we decorate for the family. Just a Quick, simple cookie with a minimum of icing and lots of sprinkles.

TIPS for homemade Shortbread Cookie success:

  • Work ONLY with room temperature butter .
  • If you can’t find superfine sugar, pulse your regular sugar in your food processor until it starts to powder,(not long), That’s what I did.
  • I often make this recipe IN my food processor since I never have superfine sugar on hand. I start with the sugar and pulse it superfine. Then I follow the recipe and in five minutes (or less) I’m rolling out cookies. So easy! This recipe is easy to make in a bowl or with a stand mixer just DON’T get crazy with the mixing.
  • These cookies roll out easily on a lightly floured surface.
  • Cut out whatever shape you like using a cookie cutter. Or, you can cut the dough into wafers, squares or other shapes.
  • Put them on a greased cookie sheet and pop them in the oven. Take them out when done and cool them on a wire rack. Enjoy!
  • After cooling to room temperature, eat them plain, dip them in yummy chocolate ganache.
  •  make a batch of our royal icing and decorate them with frosting and sprinkles. Endless possibilities!

Your Printable Recipe:

Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 25 -3 inch cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A traditional Holiday cookie. Shortbread cookies are easy to make and fun to decorate for any holiday or event.


  • 1 Cup butter , softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup Superfine Sugar
  • 2 Cups Flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In your food processor (Or a large bowl) mix together the butter, vanilla and sugar until thoroughly blended.
  3. Add the flour and mix (or pulse in your food processor) until a soft dough forms. Do not over mix.
  4. Chill in fridge a half hour until the dough is firm and easy to roll out.
  5. On a floured board roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes as desired.
  6. Bake 8 minutes or until very lightly browned.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving Calories 116

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Recipe Source:




Decorator Icing for cookies | Homemade Food Junkie

Thursday 24th of December 2015

[…] wanted to ice my shortbread cookies for valentine’s day. I don’t usually make iced cookies so I had to go hunt up a […]

Candy Cane Cookies - Homemade Food Junkie

Thursday 3rd of December 2015

[…] may enjoy as well.  Almond Joy cookies, Reeses Pieces cookies. Spritz cookies, sugar cookies, and shortbread are in our archives if you’re interested! We also have a gluten free 3 ingredient Peanut […]

Heather @ new house new home

Thursday 5th of February 2015

Thanks for featuring my recipe and linking back to my blog. It's always exciting to see that others appreciate your work. Glad that the cookies turned out so well. Love the heart!!


Thursday 5th of February 2015

Heather we LOVE your recipe! Thanks for stopping by!


Monday 29th of December 2014

This is so creative recipe! I enjoy your site as usually:)


Monday 29th of December 2014

Thank you Dragona! These shortbread cookies are really fun and easy to make. Thank you for visiting!


Saturday 27th of December 2014

These are really so cute and sound delcious too. I love shortbread cookies! They are the pefect accompaniment to coffee or tea. Happy holidays Diane to you and your family!


Saturday 27th of December 2014

Happy Holidays Hadia! Thank you so much for the visit. These cookies were a real hit at our Christmas party. The grandkids loved them!

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