Classic shortbread cookie recipe.

Shortbread Cookies Recipe – A Classic Christmas Cookie

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Shortbread cookies are hands-down my favorite cookie at Christmas time. This says a lot for shortbread cookies because I typically go for a much sweeter dessert. I have been whipping out shortbread cookies as a holiday baking staple recipe for several years now, so I am pretty good at it.

Classic Shortbread Cookies - Twelve Days of Christmas Sweets

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I don’t like to use this shortbread cookie recipe for cutouts, that’s not to say that you couldn’t. In fact, they would make great cutout cookies for holiday cookie decorating parties. Since shortbread cookies are such a simple recipe I tend to want to keep the decorating simple as well and not have to bust out the cookie cutters. A dab of melted chocolate to dip the ends of the cookie into after they’re done baking is about all I do. This year I added sprinkles. Cookie glitterYeah, it’s a thing.

Classic shortbread cookie recipe.

I may have mentioned just how much I love history when I was yammering on about making my own lollipops earlier. I have been especially interested in all these vintage and antique recipes. Have you ever been elbows deep into a recipe and thought to yourself who the heck thought this combination would be delicious? I often think about the evolution of a recipe and shortbread cookies have a very interesting history.

Classic shortbread cookie recipe. Twelve Days of Christmas Sweets

Shortbread Cookies – A Queens Cookie

Shortbread apparently originated in Scottland during the middle ages as a “biscuit bread.” This was basically leftover bread left to harden in a low oven. Sometime later apparently someone removed the yeast and replaced it with butter and thus, the birth of shortbread. Shortbread cookies are attributed to Mary Queen of Scotts because like any good woman she liked butter. Her favorite cookie was Petticoat Tails, which are similar to Shortbread Cookies but are flavored with caraway seeds.

Pretty cool, right? Want to try your hand at an original Scottish Shortbread Cookie Recipe? Check out this one!

You can bet your bottoms that I am trying the original Mideival Scotts recipe! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

This shortbread cookie recipe is a reliable one that turns out very consistent, buttery cookies every time. Shortbread can be sticky and difficult to work with. The refrigeration part of this recipe is very important, especially if you plan on using this for shortbread cookie cutouts. I roll my shortbread dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and then slice into little “fingers”.

Classic shortbread cookie recipe. Twelve Days of Christmas Sweets

classic shortbread cookie recipe

Shortbread Cookies

Perfect, buttery cookies every time! A wonderful cookie to go with coffee!

Course cookies, Dessert
Cuisine Holiday
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 dozen


  • 1 cup Butter
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Shortening I prefer butter flavored shortening


  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, vanilla, shortening and powdered sugar. Whip using a paddle attachment 

  3. Add flour and continue to mix until dough forms. Transfer dough to a silicone baking mat.

  4. Using the mat roll the dough into a log (or rectangle for "fingers") approximately 2 1/2" thick.

    Classic Shortbread cookie recipe. Twelve Days of Christmas Sweets
  5. Wrap log in saran wrap or parchment paper and lay flat on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  6. Remove the log from refrigerator and slice into "fingers" or rounds about 1/2" thick. Place on a baking sheet 1/4" apart.

    Classic shortbread cookie recipe. Twelve Days of Christmas Sweets
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies should be golden.

  8. Remove from oven and cool. 


  1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Dip the shortbread cookies into the chocolate half way and lay flat on cookie sheet. Chill to set chocolate. Add sprinkles, crushed peppermint, nuts for decoration.  

    Classic shortbread cookie recipe. Twelve Days of Christmas Sweets




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