New This Month

Shortbread Swirls


Give this universal favorite a modern update by creating an ombre of color. Each batch of dough can be divided in half for two colors. For red/pink and green/light-green variations, tint the dough to a light shade before dividing, then separate in half and add more dye to one half for a deeper color. (The golden variation has no food color.) To make all five colors pictured, you'll need to make three batches of dough. A cookie press can also be used in place of the piping bag.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 28 cookies

Photography: Aaron Dyer

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2016


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 vanill bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Gel food color (available at


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter with vanilla seeds and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add yolk and beat until incorporated, 1 minute more. Gradually add flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Tint with food color as desired.

  2. Transfer dough to pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (such as Ateco #825). Pipe into S shapes, each about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spaced 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

  3. Bake until edges are light golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies on sheets to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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