Cookies, Holiday

Classic Buttery Shortbread

When I think of the holidays, shortbread is one of the first cookies that come to mind. Buttery cookies that melt in your mouth, lightly crumble, and aren’t too sweet = perfection! Shortbread in my opinion is one of the best cookies because they are just buttery delicious. This is a very old family recipe that is in fact Scottish. You know those Scottish people and their shortbread! 😏 It is so darn good and this recipe is easier than ever! This recipe is actually more than 125 years old! There are a couple ways you could make the shortbread, but we’ll just show you a couple. Welcome to Day 10 of our 12 Days of Cookies!

We are nearing the end of our 12 Days of Cookies and on the last day, make sure to pick your favorite recipe to make for Santa!

You all know the best ingredient in shortbread is butter. For these shortbread cookies, I used the best butter, Kerrygold. I use this butter in almost all my baking and it is well worth it! The pure Irish butter is creamy, easy to mix, and has the best taste. (Not that I spread it on everything 😉)

Kerrygold elevates my baked goods with extra butter richness, especially in these classic shortbread cookies! They melt in your mouth, are crisp, and trust me, you’re going to want 1, maybe 2, or even 3. 😁

Ingredients You Need

  • Butter – It may be one of the most important ingredients when it comes to shortbread because of their signature buttery crumble goodness. Using Kerrygold pure Irish butter makes these cookies extra buttery, creamy, and gives them great flavor!
  • Powdered Sugar – We use powdered sugar in this recipe compared to sugar because we actually want the dough to be a little drier. This gives shortbread their signature melt-in-your-mouth crumble.
  • Salt – Adding a little salt gives these cookies extra flavor.
  • Flour – To tie it all in, we add some flour to pull together the dough.

How to make the best buttery shortbread:

This shortbread is foolproof, seriously! You only need butter, flour, salt, and powdered sugar. It doesn’t get much easier than that and family recipes are always the best.

  1. Line 2 large sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Next, add in your flour and salt. Mix until fully combined. The dough will start to form and be slightly crumbly.
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into 1/2″ thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut your shortbread. Place them 1″ apart on a lined cookie sheet.
  5. Alternate: You can also roll the dough into a long log that is 2″ around. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours until firm. Once chilled, slice the cookies into 1″ thick rounds and place on the cookie sheet.
  6. Either way, bake them for 15-20 minutes until just golden.
This is a handwritten copy of the original recipe written in 1997, but it dates back to the 1800s.

Why is this the best shortbread recipe?

Shortbread recipes are a classic no matter where they come from, but having an old classic family recipe makes it 10x better.

These shortbread cookies are light, buttery, not too sweet, and perfect for gifting in a little cookie box.

Another great thing about this recipe is you can change it up to add different flavors. You can add:

  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Lemon
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate

Troubleshooting the Shortbread

In case anything goes wrong, I’m here to help you with any shortbread difficulties!

  • My shortbread is too dry and crumbly! – You might have measured your dry ingredients incorrectly or added too much flour. Naturally, shortbread is a drier cookie and a little crumbly, but it shouldn’t be falling into pieces and unable to hold together. If you haven’t baked them yet, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of softened butter to the dough and work it in with your hands.
  • The shortbread is burnt on the bottom! – Make sure you line those cookie sheets, either with parchment or a Silpat. This will not only help with sticking but also baking too quickly on the bottom.
  • The shortbread didn’t keep shape when I cut them! – Your dough is most likely too dry or not chilled enough if you decided to slice n’ bake. Make sure to not add too much flour. Making sure your butter is fully softened can also contribute to the texture.

How to Store

After your shortbread is baked, store them in an airtight container at room temp. The shortbread can last quite a while, up to 1 1/2 weeks.

You can also freeze your shortbread in an airtight container and enjoy them another time!

Extra Tips for rolling and baking your shortbread

  • If you’re having trouble rolling the shortbread, you can roll it between 2 pieces of parchment paper to keep its shape and limit the mess.
  • Use any shape cookie cutter you prefer!
  • If the dough seems crumbly, add some extra softened butter, but remember, it is supposed to be a little dry.
  • Make sure your butter is totally softened! If your butter seems a little hard, it’s worth it to wait, otherwise it could affect the dough and not incorporate right leading to dry dough.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar for extra time is always a good idea! This helps the ingredients to really combine and be extra creamy.
  • You can pierce your shortbread with a fork, but it’s not required. This will only help to keep out bubbles from rising on top of your cookies when baking.

Want more of my favorite cookie recipes, look at my:

Did you make this recipe? Let us know below or on Instagram @tuesday.treats or use #tuesdaytreats2016

Classic Buttery Shortbread

Recipe by Gillian VolzCourse: Cookies, HolidayCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Easy
Servings

30

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

These buttery shortbread are the next best thing! Warm, buttery, and just enough crumble to melt in your mouth.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Line 2 large sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 4-5 minutes.
  • Next, add in your flour and salt. Mix until fully combined. The dough will start to form and be slightly crumbly.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into 1/2″ thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut your shortbread. Place them 1″ apart on a lined cookie sheet. *Notes
  • Alternate: You can also roll the dough into a long log that is 2″ around. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours until firm. Once chilled, slice the cookies into 1″ thick rounds and place on the cookie sheet.
  • Either way, bake them for 15-20 minutes until just golden.

Notes

  • Make sure to measure your dry ingredients correctly and only add more as needed. The dough will be crumbly, but still able to hold shape when pressed.
  • It may be easier to roll your dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper to control the mess and help keep it smooth.

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