Classic Shortbread Cookies

The award for best shortbread cookies in the world goes to my Dad. Hands down, no argument. His shortbread was rich and buttery, with just the right amount of sweetness. It was impossible to ever eat just one.

Unfortunately, when he passed away in 2007, he took his shortbread recipe with him. I have been on a quest ever since to find a shortbread recipe that comes remotely close to his, and so far, this is the closest I’ve come. It’s still not quite the same, but it’s delicious nonetheless.

If you read my post on how to make these Twix Cookies you’ll realize that this is the recipe used for the shortbread botttom. I found the Twix Cookies recipe on the site This Grandma is Fun. The combination of shortbread, chocolate and caramel on those cookies is to die for, but what really made me fall in love with them was this shortbread.

To make the shortbread, start out by beating together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in your vanilla and mix well.

butter beaten together with sugar and vanilla

Add the flour and salt, and stir until just combined. This dough has such a beautiful, soft and silky texture. I love working with it!

the dough all mixed up

Gather the dough together and then divide it in half (it’s easier to work with smaller portions). Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the first half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. You can sprinkle a little bit of flour onto the surface of the dough if you’re finding that it’s sticking to your rolling pin. Just be careful to avoid adding too much flour or you’ll end up with some crumbly shortbread.

ball of dough ready for rolling

Cut the dough into your preferred shape. I like to use a crinkly edged round cookie cutter about 1.5 inches in diameter. This is the same shape my dad used to cut his shortbread into.

dough rolled out and cut with cookie cutter

Re-roll any scraps and cut out more shapes until all the dough is used up. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Place your dough cut outs on a parchment lined cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart, and bake until the edges are slightly golden.

cut dough pieces on a cookie tray ready for making

Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

cookies on a tray, fresh from the oven

These shortbread cookies are delicious as is, but if you feel like jazzing them up a little, you can try dipping them halfway in some melted chocolate…and then sprinkle a little crushed pistachio on them…or maybe some crushed candy canes…Ooo, and then make a big mug of hot chocolate piled with whipped cream and marshmallows so you have something to dip these bad boys in! Or you know…just plain is good to…

pile of fresh baked shortbread cookies

Classic Shortbread Cookies

A classic buttery and sweet shortbread cookie
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cookie, shortbread
Servings: 60 cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups butter (softened)
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Stir in the vanilla.
  • Add the flour and salt, and stir until just combined.
  • Divide the dough in half. Take one half and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes (I use a 1.5 inch round cookie cutter). Re-roll the scraps and keep cutting more shapes until you've used up all the dough. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  • Place the dough cut outs onto a parchment lined cookie sheet 1-2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges just start to turn slightly golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe Modified Slightly from: This Grandma is Fun

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