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Shortbread Cookies – 1 recipe 3 cookie flavours

Recipe Level: Easy to Moderate Recipes

1 recipe, 3 cookies, how amazing is that?! This shortbread recipe will make your life easier during the holidays so you have more time for other things. Use any combination of nuts, fruits, or chocolate that you like. I made one with toasted pecans, one with white chocolate and cranberries, and one with rosemary!

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* For best results, read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Shortbread Cookies - 1 recipe 3 cookie flavours

I love this buttery shortbread cookie recipe that pairs so well with so many flavours! This shortbread cookie recipe is 1 recipe but makes 3 cookie flavours, making your life simpler during the holiday season! 1 recipe, 3 cookies, how amazing is that?! I also love how well these shortbread cookies hold up for the season. You can make them well in advance and they will last all the way until Christmas and through to the New Year if you please.

When it comes to Christmas time, homemade shortbread cookies hit top of the list, they just can’t be beat! For me, it’s the buttery velvet texture that melts in my mouth. And with this classic shortbread recipe, it’s the endless possibilities that I can create and customize to my own liking. 

Shortbread Cookies - 1 Recipe, 3 Flavours

Ingredients

It’s all about the butter in making classic shortbread cookies. Make sure to use the crème de la crème of butters for the best cookies!

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Icing sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Toasted pecans
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • White chocolate
  • Dried cranberries

Variations

There are lots of options, but it’s all about personal preference! Here I made cranberry and white chocolate shortbread cookies, toasted pecan, and my favourite rosemary. You can make these cookies as simple or as complex as you’d like. I took it to the next level and shaped each shortbread log into a different shape. You don’t have to do this step, you can roll, slice and bake but I was inspired by the rosemary to make little tree shapes! Each little stem looks like a little tree to me, and with it being Christmas cookie season and all it just seemed like a fun idea! Plus it makes it festive on a cookie platter or for a cookie exchange. Here are some fun ideas to try;

  • Orange zest and cranberry
  • Plain shortbread cookies topped with melted chocolate
  • Add mini chocolate chips
  • Toffee shortbread
  • Add dried cherries
  • Add finely ground espresso or instant coffee
  • Hazelnut
Shortbread Cookies - 1 Recipe, 3 Flavours

Storing Shortbread Cookies

The best part about shortbread cookies is the storage life! They will last in an airtight container (or a tin) for about a  month, or you can freeze them for up to two months. Just pull them out when an unexpected visitor stops by to serve with a cup of hot tea!

Tips for the Best Shortbread Cookies

  1. Use room temperature butter. Don’t even think about using the microwave to help you along the way! Plan ahead or if you’re in a bind use a cheese grater and grate the butter to help it soften properly.
  2. Don’t cheap out, use good quality butter! Butter is key to making delicious cookies. If you can get your hands on European butter, even better as it has a higher percentage of butter fat! Also stay away from salted butter, it’s a good idea to use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt.
  3. While your shortbread cookie dough logs are firming up in the fridge, keep an eye on them and reshape them as they firm up.
  4. Make sure the cookie logs are cold and firm before slicing. In order to keep the log shapes they need to be nice and firm. If you find the dough is cracking when cutting, the dough might be too cold, let it rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and try again. 
  5. When making rosemary shortbread make sure to beat the rosemary into the dough. This is so the oils from the rosemary can be well incorporated into the shortbread dough.
  6. Chop white chocolate and cranberries nice and fine as it can be difficult to get a nice clean cut when slicing the logs. Just note the smaller the pieces the easier it will be to cut through.
Shortbread Cookies - 1 recipe 3 cookie flavours
Shortbread Cookies – 1 recipe 3 cookie flavours
  1. Pistachio Cranberry Shortbread
  2. Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Cookies)
  3. Ginger Cookies
  4. Snickerdoodle Cookies
  5. Christmas Sugar Cookies
Shortbread Cookies - 1 Recipe, 3 Flavours

Step One: Prep nuts, chocolate and rosemary. Make your cookie dough. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter using the paddle attachment. Add sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until well incorporated. Add cornstarch until smooth. Stir in flour just until combined.

Step Two: Divide dough into 3 equal parts. For the first flavour, add chopped rosemary to 1 of the 3 separated dough rolls and mix to combine. Add the white chocolate and cranberries, to create a second flavour, again mix until well incorporated. And for the last flavour add toasted pecans and mix (using your hands if necessary).

Step Three: Place each mixed dough on a piece of waxed or parchment paper. With floured hands, gently roll each into a log. Wrap the logs tightly in the paper, and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or overnight. At this stage you can shape each log differently if you like. I shaped the logs into a circle, square, and triangle (then cut a tree trunk to make a tree shape).

Step Four: When dough is firm unwrap logs; with a sharp knife, slice dough 3/8 inch thick. Place cookie slices on your prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies until bottoms are golden brown, let cookies cool on pan then remove to a wire rack.

Shortbread Cookies - 1 Recipe, 3 Flavours
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Shortbread Cookies – 1 dough 3 cookie flavours

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4 from 2 reviews

1 recipe, 3 cookies, how amazing is that?! This shortbread recipe will make your life easier during the holidays so you have more time for other things. Use any combination of nuts, fruits, or chocolate that you like.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 mins
  • Yield: 75 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups (1lb) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 45 large fresh rosemary sprigs, remove leaves and chop into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until well incorporated and light in colour. Add cornstarch and mix until smooth. Add flour and mix just until combined.
  2. Divide dough into 3 equal parts.
  3. For the first flavour, add chopped rosemary to 1 of the 3 separated dough balls. Using the mixer, beat the rosemary into the dough (this step is important, as the mixer helps release the oils from the rosemary and further incorporates it into the shortbread dough). Set aside.
  4. Place the other dough into two other separate bowls. In one bowl add toasted pecans and mix (using your hands if necessary).
  5. In the other bowl add white chocolate and cranberries to the dough, again mix until well incorporated.
  6. Place each mixed dough on a piece of waxed or parchment paper. With floured hands, gently roll each into a 1 1/2-2 inch diameter log. Wrap the logs tightly in the paper, and refrigerate until firm, approx. 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or overnight. Keep checking the rolls and re-roll them to keep their shape. *At this stage you can shape each log differently if you like. I shaped the logs into a circle, square, and triangle (then cut a tree trunk to make a tree shape). See notes for more details.
  7. When dough is firm and ready preheat oven to 300˚F.
  8. Prepare 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  9. Unwrap logs; with a sharp knife, slice dough 3/8 inch thick (if dough cracks leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing again). Place slices, approx. 1 inch apart on your prepared baking sheets.
  10. Bake cookies until bottoms are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan then remove.

Notes

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

Other options for shortbread flavours are; chocolate chip, hazelnut, almond, cherry, lemon thyme, and toffee.

I did find the white chocolate and cranberry log difficult to slice. It was chunky and the knife didn’t easily slice through all the cranberries and chocolate. Just note the smaller the pieces the easier it will be to cut through your logs.

I also shaped my logs into different shapes, you can do this as well but it takes longer as you have to get your dough a little stiff to shape (refrigerate for 30 mins at a time). Once you start to get the shape you like you have to make sure the log is cold and set. To make life easier I shaped the logs on a smaller cutting board that I could fit in the fridge.
For a square and triangle – I used a large offset spatula to flatten the edges and to give me a long flat straight edge.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Cranberry Cookie
  • Calories: 77
  • Sugar: 1.7g
  • Sodium: 52mg
  • Fat: 5.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 7.1g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 14mg

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

Can I make shortbread cookie dough ahead of time?

Yes, that’s the great thing about shortbread recipes, you can make them well in advance. You can do this a few ways, bake your cookie up and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Or keep the dough refrigerated for up to 3 days and slice and bake when ready.

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Rachel Dubbeldam
Rachel Dubbeldam
7 years ago
Rating :
     

Just used this recipe for the second time! First was with the flavours suggested, second time I tweaked them for Christmas; white chocolate & candy cane, m&m (the red and green ones), and mixed nuts. Love this recipe!!!






judyjj
judyjj
5 years ago
Rating :
     

What kind of butter is this churned butter, haven’t found it. What stores carry it?






Mary
Mary
5 years ago

Do you have any weights for these quantities? I don’t have many measuring cups these days. These look great though!

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Alie Romano

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Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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