Buttery and Crumbly Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Welcome to my holiday shortbread cookie recipe! The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with a batch of buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies? In this recipe, we’ll be using simple yet high-quality ingredients that come together in perfect harmony. Imagine the delightful aroma of freshly-baked cookies wafting through your home, beckoning loved ones to gather around the oven for a taste of holiday cheer.

But why make shortbread cookies specifically? Well, shortbread is a classic Scottish treat that’s been enjoyed for centuries around the holidays. It’s believed that Mary Queen of Scots was the first person to add sugar to what was previously just a simple mixture of butter and flour. Since then, it’s become a beloved staple in many households during Christmas time.

And while this recipe stays true to the traditional flavors of shortbread, we’ll also add a few surprise ingredients that will elevate your cookies to new heights. So let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Holiday Shortbread Cookies
Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Holiday Shortbread Cookies Recipe is a festive delight that will set your taste buds ablaze with its buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity: only a handful of easy-to-find ingredients are required, making it perfect for both beginner and experienced bakers!

I know what you’re thinking: another cookie recipe? But trust me, these Christmas shortbread cookies are not your average holiday treat. The addition of lemon juice and rind elevates the flavor to another level of sophistication. Plus, the vanilla extract brings out the warm, comforting essence of the season that we all know and love.

Let’s not forget about the texture – oh so crumbly and delicate! The secret ingredient here is cornstarch that adds an extra level of smoothness that is sure to win over the palates of all who try it. Plus, with the option to add red and green sprinkles, these mini holiday delights have just enough festive cheer to make them picture-worthy display on any dessert table.

And don’t get me started on the unlimited possibilities for customization! Whether you’re in the mood for classic whipped shortbread or want to try a gluten-free take on this Scottish favorite, this shortbread recipe can be adapted to your liking.

So why will you love this recipe? It’s a no-fuss, delicious dessert that effortlessly transports you to a winter wonderland with every bite. Give it a try today and thank me later!

Ingredient List

 The dough should feel like a fluffy snowball.
The dough should feel like a fluffy snowball.

Gather Your Baker Ingredients!

The Ingredient List for these holiday Shortbread Cookies Recipe may seem quite traditional, but with the right ingredients, it is possible to make an unforgettable sweet.

Butter Adds That Buttery Flavour

You will need unsalted butter that should be at room temperature, this will be our primary fat source in this recipe. Butter adds a rich and complex flavour to the cookie dough that just takes shortbread to another level. It’s important to make sure the butter is already softened so it will be easier to incorporate with other ingredients.

A Lot of Sugar Makes This Cookie Decadent

These cookies are fairly sweet, you’ll want cup granulated sugar to balance out some of its richness. This type of sugar adds both structure and sweetness to baked goods. In addition, powdered sugar which contains cornstarch is also essential for this shortbread recipe, as it helps make the dough drier than usual contributing to a more crumbly texture in the final product.

All-Purpose Flour is Key

Any baker knows that flour plays a crucial role in baking. For this recipe, you will need 2 cups purpose flour that acts as the main structure agent in making your Shortbread Cookies firm and tender.

Flavourings That Make More Than Just A Difference

To make your cookies fragrant and unique, it’s recommended to use vanilla extract, lemon juice, and even grated lemon rind or lemon zest. The Vanilla Extract we’re using adds depth and warmth while the lemon juice gives a bit of acidity which balances out the sweetness more than just plain old vanilla can do on its own.

Ingredient Checklist:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ / powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Rind of one lemon

The Recipe How-To

 Use festive-shaped cookie cutters to make the cookies more visually appealing.
Use festive-shaped cookie cutters to make the cookies more visually appealing.

Now, let’s get to the fun part: making the holiday shortbread cookies!

Preheat the oven and prepare baking sheets

First, preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Then, line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Mix the dry ingredients

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 3 cups of all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Cream the butter and sugars

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream 2 cups of unsalted butter until it is pale and fluffy. This should take about 2-4 minutes. Gradually add in 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of powdered sugar until well combined.

Add flavorings

Add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and zest from one lemon. Mix just until combined.

Gradually add dry ingredients

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the dry ingredients mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until all ingredients are well combined.

Chill dough

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a disk shape. Wrap each disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

Roll out and cut the cookies

When you’re ready to bake, remove one dough disk from the fridge at a time. Let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes using cookie cutters.

Bake and cool

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for around 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown along the edges. Make sure to rotate pans halfway through baking time. Once done, remove from oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Now that you have completed this easy shortbread recipe how-to guide, it’s time to decorate these delicious holiday shortbreads!

Note – this recipe makes about three dozen standard sized cookies. Half recipe if desired or freeze additional dough for later use.

Substitutions and Variations

 Chill the cookies in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to help them hold their shape while cooking.
Chill the cookies in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to help them hold their shape while cooking.

Looking to put a unique spin on classic holiday shortbread cookies? Look no further than our substitutions and variations! With a few ingredient tweaks, you can customize these delicious treats to your taste buds’ desires. Here are some tips for substitutions and variations that won’t compromise the flavor or texture of your cookies.

Firstly, if you’re looking for a citrus twist, consider swapping out the vanilla extract with lemon juice and rind. The refreshing flavor of lemons adds an extra pop to these buttery delights. Alternatively, try almond extract instead of vanilla extract for a nutty flavor profile.

For those with gluten sensitivities, replace all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour for an equally delicious result that is also safe to consume. Additionally, you can enhance the holiday spirit by adding green and red colored sugar atop these festive cookies.

If you’re feeling adventurous, mix up your cookie shapes by using various cookie cutters – be it stars, trees or snowflakes – the possibilities are endless. You can also create mini holiday bites by cutting small rounds from the dough rather than shaping them differently.

To elevate your shortbread game even further, dunk or drizzle them in chocolate for added decadence. Finally, dust some powdered sugar atop your warm cookies fresh from the oven.

With these substitutions and variations, you can make easy Christmas shortbread cookies your own way – perfectly customized to your preferences!

Serving and Pairing

 The smell of freshly baked shortbread will fill your home with holiday cheer.
The smell of freshly baked shortbread will fill your home with holiday cheer.

The buttery, crumbly texture of these holiday shortbread cookies pairs perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee. For a special treat, I like to dip mine in hot chocolate or eggnog. The subtle hints of lemon and vanilla make these cookies versatile enough to be paired with a wide variety of beverages.

If you’re feeling fancy, try serving these Christmas shortbread cookies alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce. It’s an indulgent dessert that’s sure to impress your guests.

For a festive presentation, arrange the cookies on a platter and add some fresh sprigs of holly or pine. You could also sprinkle them with red and green sanding sugar for an extra pop of color.

These holiday shortbread cookies are the perfect gift for friends and family during the holiday season. Simply place them in a decorative tin or box with a festive ribbon and tag. Your loved ones will appreciate the time and effort you put into creating such a delicious and thoughtful gift.

No matter how you choose to serve them, these Christmas shortbread cookies are sure to be a hit with everyone who tries them. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The buttery taste is reminiscent of hot cocoa by the fireplace.
The buttery taste is reminiscent of hot cocoa by the fireplace.

One of the best things about holiday shortbread cookies is that they can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. On busy days, it’s reassuring to have a stash of ready-to-eat cookies that are perfect for impromptu gatherings or as a treat with a cup of tea by the fireplace.

To make-ahead, simply prepare the dough up to three days in advance, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Remember to let the dough come to room temperature before rolling it out.

After baking, store these holiday shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. When storing, make sure to layer them with parchment paper between each cookie so they won’t stick together and become soggy.

These holiday shortbread cookies are also suitable for freezing. Just make sure to place them in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze them for up to three months.

Reheating these cookies is not necessary, as they taste great at room temperature. However, if you want to reheat these cookies or if they have gone soft due to humidity, simply place them on a baking sheet and bake them again for 2-3 minutes at 325°F.

Treat yourself this holiday season with buttery shortbread cookies that are perfect for those last-minute guests or as a quick snack anytime!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The sweet and salty flavor combination will have you reaching for another cookie before you know it.
The sweet and salty flavor combination will have you reaching for another cookie before you know it.

Making the perfect holiday shortbread cookies may seem daunting, but it is really quite simple with the right techniques. Here are some tips to help you create the best possible cookies:

Firstly, use unsalted butter and make sure it is at room temperature before you start. This will prevent the cookies from becoming too greasy or running flat on the baking sheet.

Secondly, properly measuring out your ingredients can make a big difference in the final product. Use a digital kitchen scale if possible, or be sure to spoon and level your flour and sugar accurately.

Thirdly, don’t overwork your dough. Overworking shortbread cookie dough will result in dense, tough cookies. Mix your batter until everything is just combined before rolling it into a log shape.

Fourthly, chill your dough before cutting and baking them. Chilling the dough for at least an hour will help it hold its shape while baking and will prevent any melting or spreading out during the baking process.

Fifthly, be cautious not to over-bake your cookies. They should be lightly golden on the edges but still soft in the middle when you remove them from the oven as they will continue to set while cooling.

Lastly, feel free to experiment with different flavorings and add-ins such as dried fruits or nuts to add more texture and flavors to your holiday shortbread cookies. Above all else enjoy yourself whilst making them and don’t be afraid to try something new!

Bottom Line


In conclusion, making holiday shortbread cookies is an easy and delicious way to indulge in the festive spirit. With a few simple ingredients and some creativity, you can create mouth-watering cookies that are sure to become a holiday favorite. These cookies are also an excellent gift option for loved ones and colleagues who appreciate sweet treats.

As a baker, I highly recommend this recipe for its ease of preparation and versatility. By substituting certain ingredients or adding your own twist, you can have fun experimenting with different variations until you find the recipe that suits your taste. Whether you prefer whipped shortbread or buttery shortbread, there’s always something to love about these delectable treats.

So why not give my holiday shortbread cookies recipe a try? Not only will you enjoy the process of baking, but you’ll also be left with irresistible cookies that everyone will love. Don’t forget to share photos on social media and tag me in them, as I would love to see the beautiful creations that come out of your kitchen. Happy holidays, and happy baking!

Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Holiday Shortbread Cookies Recipe

These cookies are from "Argo Corn Starch". They sound so good!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Keyword: < 30 Mins, Christmas, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, European, For Large Groups, Low Protein, Scottish, Sweet
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 105.1kcal


  • 1 1/3 cups argo cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 1/3 cups butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemons, rind of
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • In medium bowl combine flour, corn starch and 2/3 Celsius of powdered sugar; set aside.
  • In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat 2 cups of butter until softened and smooth.
  • Add flour mixture, 1 1/2 t.
  • lemon peel and vanilla; beat until well blended.
  • [Ifnecessary, refrigerate dough 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • ]Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  • Place 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake about 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven; cool completely on wire racks.
  • Store in tightly covered container.
  • Icing:
  • In a medium bowl beat together the remaining 1/3 Celsius butte and the remaining 1 t.
  • lemon peel until butter is softened.
  • Add remaining 4 Celsius powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Add lemon juice and beat well.
  • Decorate cookies with icing.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 22g | Calories: 105.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.7g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Cholesterol: 15.8mg | Sodium: 42.8mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 7.7g

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