Shortbread cookies don't last long in my house! This is an easy recipe using only 4 ingredients that you most likely have at home already! These cookies have a wonderful buttery flavor and just melt in your mouth. They look very simple, but they are delicious and it's hard to stop at just one!
Easy shortbread cookies
Why this is one of my favorite cookie recipes!
This recipe is easy! These are classic shortbread cookies. They don't require many ingredients, just 4 simple everyday ingredients!
I love the buttery flavor and the melt-in-your-mouth crumbly texture.
These are perfectly appropriate to serve plain. They can be simply decorated by poking a pattern on each cookie with a wooden skewer. If you are making these for a specific holiday theme, add some sprinkles. Red and green are perfect for Christmas!
These aren't fancy cookies. They are traditional, no-fuss cookies originating in Scotland and/or England (depending on which source you are reading). They are called shortbread cookies because there is no leavening (like yeast) and the cookies do not rise. So they are short!
Love simple cookies? Here is another one on this site Try these three ingredient peanut butter cookies.
½ cup sifted powdered sugar (icing sugar)
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (softened, room temperature) *
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*If using unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon salt to the recipe and mix it into flour prior to adding flour to egg and sugar mixture.
These shortbread cookies are perfect with a cup of coffee. Or, with your afternoon tea. I guess it's the British background. Or maybe, just the Canadian background. Whatever it is, these are a great treat!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cream together softened butter with icing sugar. I use a hand mixer. This is a smaller recipe that makes approx. 2 to 2 ½ dozen cookies. If using a stand mixer, make sure to use your paddle attachment so all the sugar and butter are well mixed. You may want to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter and sugar are mixed.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 cups of flour. Add the flour and mix until dough comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, shape into a flat disk (about 6 inch diameter), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill for approximately 20 minutes. This prevents the cookies from spreading when being baked.
Remove from fridge and roll out dough with a rolling pin to ⅓ inch thickness. I prefer to roll dough on a lightly floured surface (It's easier if you use parchment paper). If dough sticks to roller, lightly coat the rolling pin with flour.
Use a cookie cutter or sharp knife to cut shapes. My favorite cookie cutter is roughly 1 inch by 3 inches. I also make these using a round cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter).
Pro tip: Use a cookie cutter that isn't solid on one side so it's easier to push cutout dough out.
Place cutout cookie dough onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes, watching closely for when the bottom starts to brown. Remove from the oven as soon as you see that. Thicker cookies may take a minute longer, just as thinner rolled cookies may take a little less baking time.
How to store cookies
Place in an airtight container. These are fine in the refrigerator for about a week.
To freeze, either freeze on ungreased cookie sheets and when frozen place in a plastic bag. Or, these can be frozen in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers. Make sure cookies are fully cooled prior to freezing.
Printable recipe for shortbread cookie recipe
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- ½ lb butter 2 sticks, softened at room temperature
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
- Cream together softened butter with icing sugar.
- Add vanilla and flour then mix until dough comes together.
- Shape dough into a 6 inch disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to about ⅓ inch thickness. It is easier if you roll out the dough on lightly floured parchment paper.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookies. My cookie cutter is about 1 inch by 2 ½ inches and my baking time is perfect for that. If you don't have a cookie cutter, you can use a sharp knife to cut cookies. If your cookies are smaller, you need a little less baking time. Larger, a little more time.
- Bake 10 minutes, watching closely. Shortbread cookies don't look very different when they are baked. When they just start browning on the bottom, they are done and should be removed from the oven.
- Let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet then remove and put onto a wire rack to cool.
Looking for another super simple cookie recipe? Try these three ingredient peanut butter cookies. Easy, quick and taste wonderful!
How about delicious chocolate and peanut butter squares? Try these no bake Special K bars!
*Originally published December 12, 2016.