Easy Shortbread Cookies only have three ingredients and require just a few minutes of prep time. You will love how they melt in your mouth!
3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Homemade Shortbread Cookies are rich and buttery, but not overly sweet.
This recipe is pretty basic (and only requires THREE ingredients!!), but I am sharing a few tips to help ensure that it turns out perfectly every time.
Easy Shortbread Cookies aka “shortbread” may have received their name because of their “short” list of ingredients. Just butter, sugar, and flour!
Melt-in-your-mouth Shortbread Cookies originated in Scotland and it is customary to serve them on special occasions. They make great Christmas cookies and are traditionally served to welcome in the New Year!
Making simple Shortbread Cookies
WET INGREDIENTS. In a medium bowl, cream butter until soft and creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
DRY INGREDIENTS. Stir in flour until the mixture is well combined; press the dough together to form a ball.
SHAPE. Flatten the dough and place it in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, close the bag tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough 1/4″ thick inside the bag. It will form a perfect square inside the bag!
Carefully cut away the sides of the bag. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into rectangular shapes.
CHILL. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets about an inch apart. Place pans of cookie dough in the refrigerator.
BAKE. While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes until the bottom edges are barely light brown.
ENJOY! Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks. If desired, drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate.
Let your cookies cool completely (at least a couple of hours if you can) before eating them. Unlike a freshly baked Chocolate Chip Cookie, these Shortbread Cookies do NOT taste the best straight out of the oven!
Powdered sugar. It’s all about texture with these Shortbread Cookies! Powdered sugar combined with butter makes the perfectly crumbly and flaky texture that melts in your mouth.
Regular sugar is too grainy, and brown sugar is for chewiness, which isn’t what we want.
Butter. Use real butter in this recipe, using anything else will not give the same texture or buttery flavor.
Flavor. For a little variety, add some spices to the dough such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Or add in a splash of vanilla extract or lemon or orange zest for extra flavor.
Decorate. We like Shortbread Cookies best drizzled with a bit of chocolate, and of course, it is always fun to add some festive sprinkles for the different holidays or even top with a few mini chocolate chips!
Crumbly dough. Shortbread dough is typically a little dry and crumbly, but if the dough is too crumbly, add just a little more butter until it reaches the desired consistency.
Shaped cookies. Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it, use a cookie press or roll and shape with a cookie cutter. Chill the dough on the pan in the fridge for 15 min before baking.
Spreading cookies. If cookies spread in the oven, it means the butter in the dough was too warm. It’s important to keep the cookies in the fridge while the oven is preheating (at least 10-15 minutes).
STORE. Cool Easy Shortbread Cookies on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
FREEZE cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag for 2 months.
Make ahead of time. Premade easy Shortbread Cookies dough can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic followed by aluminum foil for up to 3 months before baking.
Just keep in mind that once the dough is thawed it shouldn’t be frozen again.
For more holiday cookies, try:
- Peppermint Meltaways
- Italian Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Butter Cookies
- Christmas Snickerdoodles
- Spritz Cookies
Easy Shortbread Cookie Recipe
- Beat butter until soft and creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Stir in flour until the mixture is well combined; press the dough together to form a ball.
- Flatten the dough and place it in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, close the bag tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough 1/4" thick inside the bag. It will form a perfect square inside the bag!
- Carefully cut away the sides of the bag. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into rectangle shapes.
- Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets about an inch apart. Place pans in the refrigerator.
- While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes or till the bottom edges are barely turning light brown.
- Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks.
- If desired, drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate.