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Christmas Shortbread Cookies

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You’ll love these Christmas Shortbread Cookies as they just melt in your mouth. These cookies are rich, crumbly, and buttery cookies. For this occasion, we coated them in melted white chocolate that provides sweetness and a beautiful look when combined with Christmas-themed sprinkles!

Christmas Shortbread Cookies on a green plate.

CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Does  your family have holiday traditions for the holiday season?

One of my favorite traditions that we do is go to my moms house and bake Christmas cookies with the my kids and their cousins.

I just love having the holiday music playing while we bake and decorate cookies.

This shortbread cookie recipe is always popular over holidays and an easy one to make with your kids. These are among our family favorites.

I’m also told Santa loves a good cookie, and these easy cookies would be perfect to leave out with a glass of cold milk.

Each year I also attend a cookie exchange at my friend’s house which is one of my favorite friend traditions. 

Everyone brings 3-4 dozen cookies and then brings home 3-4 dozen cookies that others baked. Today’s Shortbread Cookies would be a great one for gifting or cookie exchanges.

If you enjoy some festive baking over the holidays, try my other Christmas cookie recipes like these Double Ginger Molasses Cookies, Oatmeal White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies,  White Chocolate Toasted Coconut Cookies, and my Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Christmas Shortbread Cookies ingredients.

SHORTBREAD COOKIE INGREDIENTS

BUTTER: Unsalted butter is best for this recipe, but you can also use salted butter but just cut out the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

SUGAR: I use powdered sugar for a light and short textured dough.

VANILLA: Use vanilla extract as it has a better depth of flavor than vanilla essence.

FLOUR: I use all-purpose flour in the dough.

DECORATION: I decorate the cookies by dipping them first in melted white chocolate, then sprinkling them with some Christmas colored sprinkles.

You can be as creative with the decoration as you wish.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies stacked.

HOW TO MAKE CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD COOKIES

MAKE THE SHORTBREAD COOKIE DOUGH. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until well combined.

In a separate bowl combine the all-purpose flour and salt and then add to the butter mixture. Stir with a spatula until you get a stiff dough.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies ingredients in a bowl.

ROLL THE COOKIE DOUGH. Cut two pieces of parchment paper and place the dough in between them.

Use a rolling pin to extend the dough to ⅓ inch thick. Next, set the dough aside in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies dough in a bowl.

PREPARE THE BAKING SHEETS. When ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets and set them aside while you get on with making the cookie dough.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies dough being rolled.

CUT OUT THE COOKIES. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Then, use a 2 ¼’’ (6cm) cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Arrange them on the earlier prepared baking sheet.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies cookie cutters.

BAKE THE COOKIES. Now place the baking sheets into the hot oven and bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges. Once baked, set aside to cool completely before the next step.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies cooked cookies.

DECORATE THE SHORTBREAD. In the meantime, melt white chocolate in the microwave or over a water bath. Coat each cookie with melted chocolate and spread sprinkles before it hardens.

Let the chocolate harden on the shortbread cookies over a wire rack, before enjoying for christmas time.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies frosting on cookie.

IS BUTTER OR MARGARINE BETTER FOR SHORTBREAD?

Always use a good quality unsalted butter to make shortbread.

Don’t be tempted to use margarine as it won’t set the dough, the cookies will spread in the oven, and you won’t achieve the right texture in the finished cookie.

SHOULD YOU REFRIGERATE SHORTBREAD DOUGH BEFORE BAKING?

Yes, I always chill the shortbread dough for 2 hours and this is a step you should not miss.

Chilling the dough makes the fat in the dough solidify which helps the cookies retain their shape and stops them from spreading too much in the hot oven.

You can even refrigerate the dough overnight and bake the cookies the following day. 

Christmas Shortbread Cookies with frosting.

FLAVOR VARIATIONS

This is a very simple butter cookie recipe, however you can easily adapt and play with the flavors.

Here are some ideas for you to try out:

  • Swap the white chocolate for any other flavor chocolate, chocolate orange would be a great seasonal flavor option.
  • Add some finely shredded orange or lemon zest to the dough.
  • Stir some chocolate chips, chopped nuts or dried fruits through the dough.
  • For a chocolate shortbread cookie add some cocoa powder to the dough.
  • I’ve decorate using Christmas colored sugar sprinkles, but you can use any color sprinkle.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies on a plate.

CHRISTMAS SHORTBREAD COOKIES RECIPE TIPS

  • Take the butter out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan to make the dough. This will soften the butter, making it easier to combine with the rest of the ingredients in the cookie dough.
  • Don’t overwork the shortbread dough or you risk ending up with tough hard cookies. Instead use a light hand and bring the dough together, no need for endless kneading.
  • Always chill the cookie dough before baking the cookies. This helps the cookies keep their shape during baking.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating, otherwise you risk the decoration running off the too warm cookie!
  • Keep these cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator, or up to 4 days on the counter-top.
  • Sub the vanilla for almond extract for a more nutty flavor. 

Christmas Shortbread Cookies on a plate with sprinkles.

SOME GREAT TASTING COOKIE RECIPE FOR YOU TO TRY

EASY CAKE MIX SUGAR COOKIES

HOMEMADE BANANA OATMEAL COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOM COOKIES

COCONUT CRANBERRY ALMOND COOKIES

SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Christmas Shortbread Cookies on a green plate.

Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

You'll love these Christmas Shortbread Cookies as they just melt in your mouth. These cookies are rich, crumbly, and buttery. For this occasion, we coated them in melted white chocolate that provides sweetness and a beautiful look when combined with Christmas-themed sprinkles!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 21/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Red, white and green sprinkles

Instructions

    1. Turn the oven on to 350°F and preheat it. Put parchment paper on two baking sheets. Place them aside.
    2. Mix butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until well combined.
    3. Combine all-purpose flour and salt in another bowl and add them to the butter mixture. Stir with a spatula until you get a stiff dough.
    4. Cut two pieces of parchment paper and place the dough in between them. Use a rolling pin to extend the dough to ⅓ inch thick. Next, refrigerate it for 2 hours.
    5. Then, use a 2 ¼’’ (6cm) cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.
    6. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges.
    7. Let them cool completely before the next step.
    8. In the meantime, melt white chocolate in the microwave or over a water bath.
    9. Coat each cookie with melted chocolate and spread sprinkles before it hardens.
    10. Let the chocolate harden over a cooling rack.

Notes

Keep these cookies in a sealed bag for up to seven days in the fridge or up to four days over the counter.

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