because every dessert is a little decadent

Three Kinds of Shortbread Cookie Recipes

Classic Shortbread Cookies for Holiday Gift Giving

Scottish Shortbread cookies are a classic! They are easy to make, have only three ingredients, and there are many variations. Shortbread cookies are wonderful for serving at your holiday meals. These are perfect for gift giving because they are made in a pie plate. Make them in a beautiful pie plate and give the whole thing as a gift to your favorite baker. I’m sure they will be appreciated!

Shortbread cookies are very popular in Scotland and if you are offered a cup of tea or coffee when visiting a Scot, you will probably also get a cookie, and it is highly likely to be a shortbread one. If you love these wonderful crumbly treats, you might be interested in learning the recipe for shortbread. It is so easy to make and you can adapt it if you want, adding another flavor, or you can just make the classic recipe.

Shortbread is often made in a wheel shape and then cut into triangles, rather like you would cut a pizza, but they can also be made as individual cookies. Because they are crumbly cookies, it is best to serve these with a drink, so you can wash them down. The flavor of shortbread is like nothing else, and no other cookie is similar really. If you have never tried it, have a go at making your own and you will soon discover what all the fuss is about. Shortbread is amazing.

Have You Ever Made Shortbread Cookies?

3 Variations of Shortbread Cookies
Summary: There are only 3 ingredients needed for holiday shortbread cookies.
Cuisine: Scottish
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves or Makes: 8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Scottish Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
Variation: Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
Variation: Apple Pie Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup apple butter
  • 2⅓ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
How to Bake Scottish Shortbread Cookies
  1. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, then stir in the flour.
  2. Chill for several hours then divide in half.
  3. Pat each half into an ungreased pie plate.
  4. Alternatively, you may roll out the dough on waxed paper to a thickness of about ½ inch.
  5. Using a fork, prick each half deeply to make pie-shaped wedges.
  6. Use a wooden spoon handle to flute the edges.
  7. You can make 8 or 16 wedges per plate depending on the size of the cookies you want.
  8. Bake at 300 degrees F for ½ hour.
How to Bake Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
  1. The ingredients are the same except:
  2. The flour will be 2¼ cups.
  3. And you should add ½ cup finely chopped pecans.
  4. The instructions are the same except:
  5. The pie plate should be greased.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees F for 18 to 20 minutes.
How to Bake Apple Pie Shortbread Cookies
  1. Cream flour and sugar until fluffy
  2. Add egg yolk, vanilla and apple butter and mix well
  3. Whisk flour, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together and add. Mix until well blended.
  4. Divide dough in half.
  5. Shape each half into a 6 inch disc on waxed paper
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  7. Invert one disc of dough into an ungreased 9 inch pie plate
  8. Press dough into plate with lightly floured hands, covering plate completely.
  9. Deeply score into 8 wedges.
  10. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown

Photo Credit: Earl Grey Shortbread close-up by Nikchick, on Flickr

Photo Description:

This photo shows how crumbly the shortbread cookies are going to be, as you can see the crumbs which have come off the main shortbread when it was cut. Do not worry about that because that is one of the characteristics of this type of cookie, and the crumbs are for the cook! Serve this with a beverage, as a late afternoon treat, or with a cup of coffee after a meal. Serving somebody homemade shortbread is certain to impress them, and it is an easy recipe. All you need are 3 ingredients and a little time to bake them, then the patience to let them cool down before you eat some!

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