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!
I mastered these cookies early in my adult life when I realized that holidays were going to be at our house. Being young and married with the possibility of dozens of family coming to stay over the holiday’s was intimidating. These cookies were one of the first that I learned to make. I was able to make the dough in advance and save it to my fridge pulling it out just as it was needed. The best part was that I could adapt the dough to various shapes and flavors making my baking prowess look far greater than it was. And my young siblings were able to help slice and bake something they adored helping with.
Perhaps you are farther along in your baking skills than I was those twenty years ago. Still, I think you will find this simple recipe one that you will treasure for its simplicity and versatility.
[info_box type=”warning_box”]This recipe is one in which young children love helping with! They can do almost all of it themselves. The easiest, I found, is using the roll method. Make the dough, form a roll, chill, slice and bake. [/info_box]
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!
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!
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! Let me know what your first cookie recipe is that you tried out on others. Do you still make it today?
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