These classic shortbread cookies are the perfect buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth cookies.
Shortbread cookies definitely aren’t the flashiest cookies. I know most people (including me) would go for a soft and gooey chocolate chip cookie instead, but there is definitely a time for shortbread cookies. And I’ll be the first to admit, I love their buttery flavor.
These shortbread cookies are some of the best of the best. They’re buttery, tender, they have the perfect crumbly crumb, and they practically melt in your mouth. They’re so yummy!
What’s the Difference Between Sugar Cookies and Shortbread Cookies?
Sugar cookies and shortbread have slightly different ingredients, and different ratios of ingredients that make the cookies different.
Sugar cookies contain eggs, and some sort of leavening agent that helps make them extra soft and light. They also have more sugar, and are usually sweeter than shortbread.
Shortbread cookies tend to be denser, crispier, with a tender crumb, and have a stronger butter flavor.
Ingredients Needed to Make Shortbread Cookies:
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- all purpose flour
How to make Shortbread Cookies?
Cream your butter in a large bowl and add in your sugar and vanilla extract. The vanilla extract is totally optional, and not typical of shortbread cookies, but it’s yummy! You can choose if you want to add it.
Then add in the dry ingredients, the flour, cornstarch, and salt and stir it together just until you have a nice dough and the flour is mixed in. You don’t want to overwork it.
Wrap the dough up in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 1 hour, or up to overnight.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to be about 1/4 inch thick. Then cut the dough into 2 to 3 inch cookies. Carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart and bake the cookies just until the bottoms are starting to turn light golden in color. Watch them close because they can get dark quickly and you don’t want them overbaked. We want them crunchy, but not hard.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the the baking sheet then transfer them to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Enjoy the cookies with some milk, coffee, hot chocolate, or just on their own.
Tips for making Shortbread Cookies:
- You can roll and cut the cookies into any shapes you’d like, you can cut them out with cookie cutters, or a knife. You could use heart shapes, round cookie cutters, cut them into rectangles, etc.
- The cookie dough can be made in advanced. You can store it in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer for about a month. Just let the dough thaw at room temperature long enough to be able to roll out the dough.
These shortbread cookies are a classic recipe. They’re crunchy, and buttery, and crumbly, and a little sweet and a little salty, and so delicious!
More classic cookie recipes:
- Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Gingerbread Men Cookies
- Snickerdoodle Cookies
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- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (spooned and leveled, or weighed)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Add the butter to a large bowl, and mix it until smooth.
- Add in the sugar, and vanilla extract, and beat for about 2 minutes, until light and creamy.
- Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt. And stir it all together until the flour is mixed in. Try not to overwork the batter, and stir until just combined.
- Place the dough onto plastic wrap and roll it into a ball, covered in the plastic wrap.
- Place the dough into the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to be between 1/4 and 5/16inch thick.
- Cut the dough into 2-3 inch cookies (using cookie cutters, or a knife). Get the cookies dough cuts as close together as you can so you don't have to rework and reroll the cookie dough too much.
- Carefully transfer the cut out cookies onto the prepared baking sheet, and place them about 1 inch apart from each other.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom of the edges are just beginning to turn a light golden brown color. Watch closely for the last couple minutes as the color can turn dark quickly.
- Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For Chocolate Drizzle:
- Add chocolate chips to a small, microwave safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir.
- Microwave in additional 15 second increments, stirring well after each until you can totally stir the chocolate chips smooth.
- Drizzle chocolate over the top of the cooled cookies with a spoon, or by putting melted chocolate into a small ziptop bag and snipping the corner to drizzle. Or dip cookies half way into the chocolate.
- Let chocolate set completely.
Kim Duff says
Cup of butter how much in grams please
I updated the recipe to show the grams, but it should be 227 grams of butter
I have made these shortbread cookies many times, and they always come out perfect! The recipe is wonderful, with nice, clear directions. 🙂
I usually add Himalayan sea salt for the salt …
I like them best plain, but my topping additions:
Sometimes I will top them with homemade jam and make a sandwich with them.
I will break up a (Fair Trade) burnt caramel/dark chocolate into small squares and place on top of the hot cookies.
That sounds yummy! So glad you’ve enjoy them.
I’ve made my share of typo’s in life, but the one in your recipe tickled my funny bone.
In #3 on the instruction card you say to “stir until the floor is mixed in.” Know you mean flour, but it just struck me funny.
Haha! Thanks so much for catching that!