New This Month

Holiday Shortbread Cookies


What's great about basic buttery shortbread cookies is how you can add flavors to them. Or just leave them as is.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 24

Source: Everyday Food, December 2010


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/3 cup coarse or sanding sugar (optional), for decorating


  1. In a food processor, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt; process until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until combined. Form dough into an 8-inch-long round or square log; wrap tightly in plastic and freeze until firm, 30 minutes (or up to 1 month).

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Dip edges in sugar if desired and transfer to two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on sheets. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


To make these chocolate, use 1/3 cup cocoa powder in place of 1/3 cup flour; add 6 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate to the dough.

Cook's Notes

Give these cookies festive flair. Add 3/4 cup chopped mix-ins, such as dried fruit, nuts, or bittersweet chocolate, along with the flour in step 1.

Reviews Add a comment

  • kathicooks
    20 DEC, 2014
    I just made a couple of batches. I added orange and lemon zest but still thought these cookies were flat. And as much as I dislike overly - sweet cookies, these need more sweetness.
  • kathicooks
    15 DEC, 2014
    This is a question, not a review. Will this recipe triple well, or do I need to make 3 separate batches? It rather looks to me as if separate batches are needed.
  • mrsnied87
    9 DEC, 2014
    Made these cookies today- thought they were a great shortbread cookie! I did not find them too salty. My food processor was not big enough for the whole mixture so when I added the flour, I mixed it all with a regular mixer. Added dried cherries and chopped walnuts. Will make again!
  • Wendi Morris
    23 MAR, 2014
    I have made this recipe dozens of times. In fact I used it to bake 80 pounds of cookies for a fundraiser. 80 pounds!!! It is perfect but the dough should hold together before you chill it. If it is dry and crumbly prior to refrigeration it may not pull together. Add a drop of water in your food processor if it is a bit dry. Just a tiny drop. Like pie crust, humidity has an impact on this recipe. Also let it sit out about 20 minutes prior to slicing so that the butter gives a little.
  • grdm8
    17 DEC, 2013
    It is not at all "odd"! Traditional shortbread doesn't contain eggs.
  • ELWescott
    11 DEC, 2013
    These were so good!! Exactly what shortbread should taste like. If they didn't turn out, you did something wrong. :)
  • nono08703987
    7 DEC, 2013
    this seems odd. no eggs?
  • mmers
    2 DEC, 2013
    I am making these today - well, made the dough up yesterday and I'm baking them today. I won't make them again though - dough is way too dry and I had real problems cutting them - the dough kept crumbling. I don't know if it's my flour or what but I need to try another recipe.
  • Shuda
    20 DEC, 2012
    Fabulous! I added extra salt to mine and then partially dipped the one side in dark chocolate and sprinkled maldon salt and pepper on top. This is a keeper for excellent and easy to make shortbread. Thanks Zan for the suggestion!
  • Sunny99
    12 DEC, 2011
    they tasted very good, I added pecans to mine. Only problem is I find they taste a bit salty.