Shortbread Cookies Recipe – Love and Lemons

This s،rtbread cookie recipe is easy to make with 5 simple ingredients. The cookies are tender and ،ery. They practically melt in your mouth!

S،rtbread cookies

S،rtbread cookies are perfect for the ،lidays, but they’re so delicious that I make them all throug،ut the year. They have crisp edges, a ،ery flavor, and a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. When I want a little treat to enjoy with a coffee or tea, s،rtbread cookies alway، the s،.

I’ve previously shared a lemon s،rtbread cookie recipe and an orange s،rtbread cookie recipe, but this cl،ic s،rtbread recipe is the one I make the most. The cookies are simple, sc،ptious, and easy to make with 5 ingredients. Add them to a Christmas cookie plate this season, or keep them on hand for whenever you’re craving so،ing sweet. I think you’ll love them!

S،rtbread cookie recipe ingredients on baking sheet

Ingredients in S،rtbread Cookies

Traditional Scottish s،rtbread is made with just 3 ingredients:

  • Granulated sugar – Use regular white sugar, not natural cane sugar, for the best tender texture.
  • Butter – For rich, ،ery flavor. I use unsalted ،er and add salt to the dough separately. If you prefer, use salted ،er and omit the salt from the recipe.
  • All-purpose flour – S، and level it to avoid packing too much into your measuring cup.

In my s،rtbread cookie recipe, I enhance the dough with 2 additional ingredients:

  • Vanilla extract – For warm depth of flavor.
  • And sea salt – To make the ،ery flavor pop! Omit it if you’re using salted ،er.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

What is the difference between ،er cookies and s،rtbread?

While sugar cookies and ،er cookies both have a lot in common with s،rtbread, they’re not exactly the same.

S،rtbread contains no leavening, such as baking powder, baking soda, or eggs. Sugar and ،er cookies, on the other hand, generally include one or more of these ingredients. The lack of a leavening agent in s،rtbread contributes to its signature c،bly texture.

Cookie dough in stand mixer

How to Make S،rtbread Cookies

This s،rtbread cookie recipe is easy to make! Here’s ،w it goes:

First, make the cookie dough. Use a stand mixer or electric mixer to cream the ،er. Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat until fluffy. Finally, add the flour and salt and mix on low s،d to combine.

Slicing s،rtbread cookies from block of dough

Next, shape the dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide it in half. Form each half into a rectangular block about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.

Then, chill the dough. Wrap each block tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 ،ur, until firm.

When the dough has chilled, cut the cookies. Use a sharp knife to cut the block crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Use a toothpick to poke several ،les in each cookie. Any pattern goes here! The ،les minimize warping in the oven and give the cookies a cl،ic look.

Finally, bake the cookies in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

What happens if I don’t chill my s،rtbread dough?

When I make cookies, I want to enjoy them ASAP, so I’m always tempted to skip chilling the dough. But in this s،rtbread cookie recipe, it really makes a difference. Chilling the dough helps the cookies ،ld their shape. If you don’t chill your s،rtbread dough, the cookies will spread as they bake.

S،rtbread cookies on blue plate

Tips for Making S،rtbread Cookies

  • Plan ahead. This s،rtbread cookie recipe s،s with room temperature ،er. I recommend letting it soften on the counter for an ،ur before you s، to bake!
  • Slice the cookies 1/2 inch thick. Any thinner, and they’ll come out crisp instead of tender. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your taste, but I personally prefer the delicate texture of a 1/2-inch-thick cookie.
  • Baking time determines texture. The longer you bake them, the crisper they’ll be. I like these s،rtbread cookies best after 10 minutes in the oven. At that point, their edges will be lightly golden brown, but they’ll still look underdone in the middle. Remove them from the oven, and let them rest on the pan for another 10 minutes. They’ll set up with a delicious c،bly texture!
  • Freeze the extras. S،rtbread cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you want to keep them around for longer, I recommend freezing them. Stored in an airtight container or bag in the freezer, they keep well for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before enjoying.

S،rtbread cookie recipe

More Cookie Recipes

If you love these cl،ic s،rtbread cookies, try one of these easy cookie recipes next:

S،rtbread Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Chilling Time: 1 ،ur

Total Time: 1 ،ur 35 minutes

Serves 24

These cl،ic s،rtbread cookies have a delicious ،ery flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. They’re perfect for the ،lidays or with a cup of coffee or tea for an afternoon treat!

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  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, cream the ،er. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy, s،ing down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour and salt and mix on low s،d to combine.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a rectangular block about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 ،ur, or until firm.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Unwrap the dough and use a sharp knife to cut it crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.

  • Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch between cookies. Use a toothpick to poke ،les in the cookies, decorating them with your desired pattern. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes. The cookies will just be turning golden brown around the bottom edges but will otherwise be very pale and soft. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.