Shortbread Cookies

The “12 Days of Christmas” series continues today on my blog! For the third day of Christmas, I have another traditional recipe—Shortbread Cookies!

Our Family Recipe

This Shortbread Cookie recipe has been passed down in my family for generations and was originally developed by my great-grandma. I have never met her, but I know that she would be happy with me sharing her recipe with all of my readers. However, I bet she would have never imagined that I would share it over the internet 😛

Shortbread Cookies
Traditional red, white and green sprinkles make these Shortbread Cookies ultra festive!

I have had many shortbread cookies before and I can definitely say that this one is, hands down, the best I have ever had. I am not just saying that because it is my family recipe, I truly mean it. Sometimes, shortbreads can be too light and crumbly. Sometimes they are overpoweringly sweet. Or sometimes, there is no flavour to them at all. That is not the case here.

A Firmer, Buttery Shortbread Cookie

These Shortbread Cookies are on the firmer side and crumble perfectly in your mouth—the texture is on point! I suspect that this comes from the whole pound of butter that goes into this recipe. Don’t worry though…this recipe makes a LOT of cookies. I also use salted butter in this recipe since the salt adds more flavour to the cookie dough and gives it a savoury edge. To counteract this savoury flavour, these cookies are sweetened perfectly with icing sugar (as opposed to granulated sugar). The icing sugar gives the dough a lighter texture since it is finer than granulated sugar, and it lends just the right amount of sweetness.

Decorate with Sprinkles

While you can just serve the cookies plain, I like to add a bit of decoration to these cookies during the holidays with some sprinkles. You can use whatever coloured sprinkles you like. I opted for traditional Christmas colours: red, white and green, but you can decorate these however you want. This also makes a fun task for kids…and adults as well 😛

Shortbread Cookies

If you are looking for a great foundational Shortbread Cookie recipe, this is it. Try it out this holiday season for yourself—you will make my great-grandma and I very proud. Stay tuned to see how I adopt this foundational recipe to make two more shortbread cookie variations during the #12DaysOfChristmas series! I promise that you will love these two recipes as well!

Get the Recipe!

Shortbread Cookies

My great-grandma's shortbread cookie recipe has worked it's way out of our family cookbook and has made it onto the internet! These shortbread cookies use LOTS of butter and just three other everyday ingredients that you likely have in your pantry. Try these shortbread cookies this holiday season– my great-grandma will be happy you made her recipe <3
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies


  • 1 pound 2 cups salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • Various coloured sprinkles for decorating


  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and salt until smooth and fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth and combined.
  • Next, sift in  the flour and beat until combined. It is easier to add half of the flour at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions. Once the flour is completely combined, shape the dough into two discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Place the discs in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the dough to cool and for the gluten to relax.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange your oven baking racks so that they are near the top of the oven. Roll out each disc of dough on a lightly-floured surface. Using a lightly floured cookie cutter, cut out the cookies into shapes. Place them onto parchment-lined baking sheets, abut 2-3 cm apart.
  • You can bake these cookies as is, or decorate them with sprinkles as I did. I recommend to gently press the sprinkles down into the cookies so that they don't fall off after baking. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
Keyword baking, christmas brunch recipe, christmas cookies, holiday baking, holiday cookies, maple bacon shortbread, shortbread cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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