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Buttery Shortbread Cookies – Easy No-Fail Recipe

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These buttery shortbread cookies are everything you love about shortbread cookies — soft, buttery, melts in your mouth. They’re a breeze to make too. Follow this no-fail recipe for a perfect batch of cookies every time.

(Love simple, no-fuss cookies? Bake some lengua de gato – Filipino butter cookies that are thin, crispy, buttery and super easy to make!)

Buttery Shortbread Cookies - Easy No-Fail Recipe

What is it about buttery shortbread cookies that scream Christmas? I can make them any time but find myself only making them around the holidays. 

I might as well call them Christmas shortbread cookies.

If you’re adding them to your cookie tray this year or giving them away as presents, you can jazz them up with red and green finishing sugar or dip them in chocolate. 

Personally, I leave them be. I love them the way they are. Tender, buttery, uncomplicated. And so easy to make too.

How to make buttery shortbread cookies

Buttery Shortbread Cookies - Easy No-Fail Recipe

This buttery shortbread cookies recipe involves no chilling and no kneading. You don’t have to worry about your cookies spreading too little or too much. 

And all you need are simple, pantry ingredients.

Ingredients for shortbread butter cookies

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To make this shortbread cookie recipe, you’ll need:

Tools you’ll need to make this easy shortbread recipe

I like using my stand mixer to make these but you can use a handheld electric mixer as well. I also bake these cookies in an 8×8 inch pan instead of a cookie sheet.

Other things you’ll need include stuff you already have in your kitchen like:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Spatula
  • Fork (yes, just a regular fork)
  • Knife or bench scraper

Let’s get baking!

Traditional shortbread recipe

For the detailed recipe, scroll to the bottom of the page for the printer-friendly recipe card with nutritional information.

1 PREHEAT. First, preheat your oven to 375F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan and set aside.

2 BUTTER. In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). 

3 SUGARS. Then add your confectioner’s sugar and granulated sugar and continue beating until fluffy (2-3 minutes). You’ll want to start slow and work your way up to medium speed. Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl with a spatula.

4 VANILLA. Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

5 DRY INGREDIENTS. Sift your dry ingredients (all purpose flour, rice flour, salt) directly into your bowl and stir until evenly blended.

6 COOKIE DOUGH. Transfer the cookie dough into your prepared pan and firmly and evenly press the dough onto the bottom using your fingers. The dough will be a little crumbly but should be fairly easy to handle. If your fingers get a little sticky, wet them with a little water or dust your fingers with a little flour.

7 PRICK OR DOCK. To prevent your shortbread from puffing up and to allow the dough to cook evenly, prick or pierce (also known as docking) the dough with a skewer or a small fork. Dock the dough evenly, at about 1-inch intervals. I also like to lightly score my dough with my bench scraper so I know where to cut them once they’re baked, but it’s not necessary.

Docked shortbread cookie dough in pan

8 BAKE. Bake your shortbread for 20-25 minutes or until the edges turn a light brown (do not over bake, shortbread should be pale and light).

9 COOL AND ENJOY. Allow the shortbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then cut into rectangles or squares or triangles, up to you! To store, place the completely cool cookies in an airtight container on the counter. They should keep for up to 2 weeks.

Butter shortbread recipe baking tips

Buttery Shortbread Cookies - Easy No-Fail Recipe

This cookie recipe is simple and straightforward. And while that’s great, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Use quality butter. For recipes like this, I always try and spring for the best ingredients I can find. There’s really nowhere to hide behind so if you use good, quality butter, it will show.
  • Beat butter thoroughly. Speaking of butter, make sure to beat it thoroughly before adding the sugar. This ensures you get light, melt-in-your-mouth, soft shortbread cookies.
  • Use the correct rice flour. When buying rice flour, pay attention to the label — make sure you’re not buying glutinous rice flour or sometimes called sweet rice flour (it will say right on the packaging). Rice flour is closer to wheat flour and yields a cake-like consistency. Glutinous rice flour yields a sticky and chewy texture used for dumplings or foods that don’t require much structure. 
  • Dock the shortbread properly. When you’re docking your dough, make sure you reach the bottom of the pan. I like using a small fork so I get 3 holes at once!
  • Weigh ingredients. I always use a kitchen scale when baking. This results to more consistent results.
  • Use an oven thermometer. Using an oven thermometer ensures you’re baking at the right temperature every time.

Whether it’s for your December cookie swap or yearly bake sale; or simply to enjoy with your afternoon tea, you can’t go wrong with these buttery shortbread cookies.

Buttery Shortbread Cookies - Easy No-Fail Recipe

Buttery Shortbread Cookies – Easy No-Fail Recipe

Author: Jolina
These buttery shortbread cookies are everything you love about shortbread cookies — soft, buttery, melts in your mouth.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling Time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 135 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
    Creamed butter in a mixing bowl
  • Then add ½ cup confectioner’s sugar and ¼ cup granulated sugar and continue beating until fluffy (2-3 minutes). You’ll want to start slow and work your way up to medium speed. Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl with a spatula.
    Creamed butter and sugar in bowl
  • Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
    Creamed butter and sugar in bowl
  • Sift 2¼ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup rice flour and ¼ tsp salt directly into your bowl and stir until evenly blended.
    Buttery shortbread cookie dough in mixing bowl
  • Transfer cookie dough into your prepared pan and firmly and evenly press the dough onto the bottom using your fingers (see notes).
    Buttery shortbread cookie dough in pan
  • To prevent your shortbread from puffing up and to allow the cookie to cook evenly, dock the dough with a skewer or a small fork. Dock the dough evenly, at about 1-inch intervals (see notes).
    Docked shortbread cookie dough in pan
  • Bake your shortbread for 20-25 minutes or until the edges turn a light brown (do not over bake, shortbread should be pale and light).
  • Allow the shortbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then cut into rectangles or squares or triangles, up to you! To store, place the completely cool cookies in an airtight container on the counter. They should keep for up to 2 weeks.

Video

Notes

  1. The yield/number of cookies depends on how big/small and what shape you cut your cookies.
  2. The cookie dough will be a little crumbly but should be fairly easy to handle. If your fingers get a little sticky when pressing it onto the pan, wet your fingers with a little water or dust them with a little flour.
  3. In addition to docking, I also like to lightly score my dough with my bench scraper so I know where to cut them once they’re baked, but it’s not necessary.
  4. See the post for more baking tips and the complete step-by-step photos.

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 26mgPotassium: 15mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 236IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Afternoon Tea, Christmas, Easy, Holiday Baking, No-Fail Recipe
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Looking for more cookie recipes for your holiday baking? Check these out:

Chewy M&M cookies are the best kind of chocolate cookies — soft and chewy, so chocolatey and a breeze to make! Use red and green M&Ms and you’ll have cookies that will be the star of your Christmas cookie tray.

Snickers cookies are soft, chewy and packed with pieces of Snickers candy bar in every bite. Perfect for Halloween, Christmas or to satisfy your daily cookie cravings!

Baking these chewy ginger molasses cookies will make your home smell like Christmas. They’re delicious too! Bake a batch and get into the holiday spirit.

Meringue cornflake cookies are delightfully chewy, filled with crunchy cornflakes and bursting with bits of chocolate chips. It’s the kind of cookie you’d love to eat on a cold winter day, sitting by the fire, sipping hot chocolate or warm milk.

Happy baking!

Did you make this shortbread cookies recipe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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Recipe Rating




Liz

Friday 27th of November 2020

This was a hit! My dough looked very crumbly I thought it would just fall apart so I cheated and kneaded them slightly in the pan. The cookies still came out perfect. Will make some more for Christmas!

Jolina

Monday 30th of November 2020

Lol! A little cheating is ok :) Glad to hear they turned out well! And yes, they're perfect for Christmas. Enjoy!

Marie Gizelle

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

I love shortbreads and lengua de gato too. I'm excited to try both soon!

Nyxie

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

These look gorgeous and sound easy enough to make. Fool proof, even for me!

Marysa

Monday 23rd of November 2020

These sound absolutely delicious! I love the idea of a buttery shortbread. Perfect for going along with tea.

Rosemary

Monday 23rd of November 2020

I love shortbread cookies, but have actually never thought of making them at home. That's a great idea to give them as gifts. I'm cutting back on gifts this year, so this might be the perfect alternative. Thanks for the idea.