Can a person truly love a sweet? If it’s possible, then I’m in love with these homemade, super simple 3-ingredient shortbread cookies. This recipe is all sorts of wonderful: they’re sweet, perfect, easy to make, and melt-in-your-mouth fabulous!!
These tried and true shortbread cookies are delicious without anything fancy. Just roll them out, cut them, and bake them. My favorite way to make this family favorite recipe is to keep it classic: roll them into a rectangle, cut into squares, and use a fork or a chopstick to create indentations.
I call them the Light Switch Cookies :). Look for the saveable, printable recipe card below!
First, a word from Penelope…
Let’s pause for a moment and admire my lovely mixer. She comes from my dear friend Gina, the blogger extraordinaire at The Shabby Creek Cottage. She was kind enough to not only get me a KitchenAid mixer (which I’ve desperately wanted for…16 years?) but, she even picked it out in my favorite color! The first time I ever used my new mixer, it was on my favorite cookie recipe: this classic shortbread. And gosh, it made it so very, very fast!!
Gina, you are lovely and I am truly blessed to know you!
P.S. I’ve named my mixer Penelope. Doesn’t she look like a Penelope?
Okay, back to the cookies!
How to Make Classic 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Gather your 3 super simple ingredients: flour, sugar, and butter. Note: The butter should be cool or cold to create that fabulous, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
Mix it up. Use your own “Penelope” (of course I mean MIXER) for this recipe. The cold butter makes it nearly impossible to mix by hand!
-Use the paddle attachment on your mixer, not the beater. And only mix the batter until it’s fairly well combined but there are still little bits of butter in the mix. These bits of butter help with the shortbread magic.
Roll it out flat, then into a greased cookie sheet with a lip.
Smooth the dough out so it’s extra flat.
Cut into squares, then poke holes with a fork or a chopstick.
Bake until juuuust golden brown. If you like, dust with a little powdered sugar after they cool.
Aren’t they beautiful?? …and they’re oh SO good!
Simple, classic, beautiful, delicious–these shortbread cookies have it all!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup butter (must be cool or cold)
- Combine flour and sugar. Then cut in the butter until the mixture is mostly crumbs and starts to stick together. Your dough will be a bit crumbly. (or, use the paddle attachment on your mixer and mix just until combined but bits of butter are still in the dough)
- Form the mixture into a ball and work until smooth.
- Roll out dough and place onto an greased cookie sheet.
- Cut into squares, then place the pan into the fridge for 10 minutes before baking. (This helps maintain that melt-in-your-mouth consistency!)
- Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
- The baking time varies according to the size of your cookies. If your dough isn’t sticking to itself at all, add a tablespoon of softened butter.
But wait…there’s more!
The best part is, you can use this simple shortbread recipe to create several different variations, each wonderful in their own right. Start with the delicious classic shortbread recipe. Add a couple additional ingredients and instructions and you have a gorgeous batch of different cookies. Magic! I’ve been watching my Pinterest cookie board for fun variations of the Shortbread Cookie to try. After we eat these…of course!
Rolled Shortbread Cookies
Now that you’ve created the traditional shortbread cookie recipe, your possibilities are endless!! Simply roll whatever additions you choose right into your dough. Shortbread cookies are often rolled out into a circle and cut into wedges. You can form them into small balls and flatten them with your hands. I like to form into a roll, cut, and then place a nut on top. They’re simply so very easy!
- chopped nuts (like I used here)
- mini chocolate chips
- peppermint pieces
- espresso powder
Keep in mind, the additional ingredient(s) could change the wet/dry ratio of your cookie dough, so try to adjust for that. By that I mean, if you’re adding cocoa to the dough, you may want to adjust the flour amount so your cookies don’t even up too dry.
Frosted Shortbread Cookies
For this gorgeous variation, you simply add frosting or melted chocolate to your Classic Shortbread Cookie or your Rolled Shortbread Cookie. Either version will taste amazing with the extra addition of frosting!
And, of course…adding pretty sprinkles or sugar to the frosting is a bonus, super-baker touch!
Dipped Shortbread Cookies (the ULTIMATE!)
The ULTIMATE Shortbread Cookie combines all of these awesome variations into one fabulous cookie!!
After you’ve created your Classic or Rolled Shortbread Cookies, rather than just simply frosting it…dip it in frosting and then cover with sprinkles, nuts, or sugar!
For mine, I first colored my classic dough with blue food coloring, formed a roll, and then cut the roll into circles. After my shortbread was baked and cooled, I dipped half of each cookie into vanilla Candyquik. I laid the cookie on aluminum foil to harden and sprinkled pretty winter sprinkles on top. Seriously…so lovely!
What’s YOUR ultimate version of Shortbread Cookies? Are you a dipper? Do you want to roll in additions? Or you a Classic Shortbread fan?
I hope you can find an afternoon to make these wonderful shortbread cookies!! If you have never tried making homemade Shortbread Cookies…do so!…you’ll make them for always! I enjoy mine with a good latte and homemade coffee syrups!
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