This never-fail Classic Shortbread Cookies recipe is easy to whip up with just a few quality ingredients! With three different fillings.Jump to Recipe
Shortbread cookies are so simple, yet so tasty. Buttery, crispy, and decadent, these cookies are perfect in their purest state or dressed up with your favorite ingredients. I’ve got three flavors for you to try.
Why do they call it shortbread?
Shortbread cookies got their name because of the “short” development of the gluten. Typically, cookies have an added liquid (like milk) that creates a moist texture. But, since shortbread cookies don’t require a liquid, they are tender and crumbly. Oh, and they melt in your mouth too.
They’re simple, only require a handful of ingredients, and you can add whatever flavor you like to them to make them unique to you! I decided to add lemon and thyme, dark chocolate and dried cherries and cardamom, orange and pistachios in mine. But these are so easy to adjust to your liking.
Easy Tips for Shortbread Cookies
- Don’t overwork the dough. Overworking your dough will make for tough shortbread cookies instead of crumbly and tender ones. To prevent this, cream together the sugar and butter before you add it to the flour.
- Use a good quality, butter. European butter is great because it contains more fat than American brands. My favorite is Kerrygold.
- Let your butter get soft. Use room temperature butter for easier mixing. Don’t use melted butter. It will result in spreading and shapelessness.
- Slicing Cookies: When slicing the cookies, use a sawing motion if you come to a large chunk of chocolate. If the cookie dough splits or breaks apart, just piece it back together into a round. No worries!
- Make-Ahead: The cookie dough is easily made ahead and stored tightly wrapped in parchment paper and plastic wrap for up to 4 days before baking.
- Freezing Dough: The well-wrapped dough can also be frozen for up to a month. Defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator for about 4 hours before slicing and baking.
Something about the simplicity of this shortbread cookie from the start and how adding some different flavors can transform a simple cookie to a grand cookie.
I love shortbread cookies because you can make the dough ahead of time and when you are in the mood for cookies or have company coming over you can take out the dough from the freezer, bake up a batch or two and make the house fill up with delectable scents.
Did you try my Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles? Let me know what you think and leave a comment below! Don’t forget to also take a picture of your recreation and tag me on Instagram. I love to see all of your photos!
Classic Shortbread Cookies
- 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup rice flour
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 2 cups room temperature unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cup unsifted confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup sugar for rolling dough
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ½ cup finely shaved chocolate (I used 60% dark chocolate bar)
- ½ cup chopped dried dark bing cherries
- 1 heaping tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- ¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup or more pistachios, more finely chopped, for rolling edges of cookie
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine both flours and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until combined.
- Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Use a wooden spoon to stir in any remaining flour mixture.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough into a long log, cut into three equal pieces.
- Add the add ons for each flavor to each section and knead it together to combine. Roll into a log and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill for 1 to 24 hours or until firm.
- Cut roll into ¼-inch slices. For the pistachio flavor, roll each cookie edge in the finely chopped pistachios.
- Place slices 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
- Stack 5 cookies together and wrap in twine or ribbon, add a sprig of thyme and give as a gift or enjoy at home.