Shortbread Cookie Cut Outs

Shortbread Cookie Cut outs

Shortbread Cookie Cutouts are a traditional shortbread cookie with just 5 ingredients. They are tender and flaky and roll out so well. I’ve been making them for years. Now it’s your turn!

Shortbread Cookie Cutouts

It is on days like this I want to be snuggled in my home where it is warm and I can hear the wind calling from outside. I can sit inside at the kitchen table and watch the TV tuned to the Food Network. I can watch them baking cookies and know that mine are better. But for many years I did not think I could use a rolling pin. It never failed that my cookies would stick or break apart or be too cold to rollout. Until… I found this recipe. It works. And these are good tasting shortbread cookies.

You can eat them as is. No decorating but some consider that the fun part. You could roll them in a log, slice them and then glaze them if you want. Or not. It is a fairly traditional shortbread and I love shortbread. You could pat them into a round about ½” thick and use a fork to prick the round into sections. These would be called petticoat tails.

Shortbread cookie cut outs

Shortbread is traditionally made with one part sugar, two parts butter and 3 parts flour.They have a crumbly texture but do firm up after cooling. The name shortbread is derived from the word shortening and hence evolved into shortbread. They come from Scotland, where they are a classic Scottish dessert and were refined by Mary, Queen of Scots. In Scotland it is traditional to eat these on New Years Eve which derived from the custom of eating Yule cakes in the 1200’s.

I have made these for years and in our home they are known as Hanukkah cookies. My daughter just called for the recipe. I feel obliged to give it to her as she helped for many moons to decorate them. Of course she didn’t sweep the sugar off the floor, but that’s OK. It’s comforting to know that a tradition is passing on. One that apparently has survived for hundreds of years. Yes, it is a damn good cookie. Call them what you want. Just know you may find yourself starting a new tradition.

Shortbread Cookie Cutouts

Needing a few more cookie recipes? Check out Holly at A Baker’s House. She has lots of gluten free recipes on their too!

Have you tried my Triple Chocolate Mocha Macadamia Bark? It makes a great, decadent gift!

I haven’t made this brown sugar caramel spice cake in a long time but I should. I think this would be a perfect holiday dessert!

And last but not least…Please Pin and Share These Shortbread Cookie Cutouts!

Shortbread Cookie Cutouts

(This is an updated post from 2012)
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Shortbread Cookie Cut Outs

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 Minutes
  • Total Time: 33 Minutes
  • Yield: About 3 dozen 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



¾ lb sweet butter softened (three sticks) If your butter is really chilled each
stick can be put in the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften it.

1 c confectioners sugar

3 c unbleached all purpose flour

½ t salt (If you have salted butter you may not want to add salt)

½ t vanilla

Royal Icing

1 large egg white

1 c confectioners sugar


Cream butter and confectioners sugar together until light.

Sift flour and salt together and add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla and blend well.

Gather dough into ball or make two logs, and wrap in saran wrap or wax paper. Chill in fridge for 4-6 hours.

Roll out chilled dough to 3/8” thickness on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out cookies with your favorite cookie cutter. If you are not icing these sprinkle them with granulated sugar. Place cut out cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and refrigerate for 45 minutes before baking. (If it is cold outside, I just place them on the deck!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how thick you made your cookies. They should be pale and not brown at all. Makes at least 3 dozen.

Royal Icing

Blend powdered sugar and egg white with a mini whisk in a 2 c measuring cup. You should not have any lumps. It helps to sift your sugar or to stir it well with a fork. You may dye this or leave it as
is. I usually leave it white and then frost each cookie one at a time, and then dipping into the colored sugars as I go.


Make sure to let dough chill.

Cookies yield depends on size of cookie cutters.

Prep Time does not include chilling time.

Thanks Silver Palette

Keywords: cookies, shortbread, holiday baking, cookie cutouts, Shortbread Cookie Cutouts

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  • Gerlinde @Sunnycovechef
    December 14, 2018 at 5:59 am

    These cookies are my husband’s favorite, his mother used to make them and now my sister in law does .

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 15, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Nothing like a lot of butter with a sugar glaze? They are Zoe’s favorite too!

  • Liz
    December 14, 2018 at 3:28 am

    Buttery shortbread is perfect for the holidays—especially with frosting!! Such pretty cookies!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 15, 2018 at 9:25 am

      So true Liz! Kind of balances out all the other rich food!

  • 2 Sisters recipes
    December 13, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Beautiful shortbread cookies! So festive! Happy Holidays Abbe!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 15, 2018 at 9:25 am

      You guys are sweet….just like these cookies!

  • Holly
    December 13, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Any recipe that starts with three sticks of butter has my name on it! These sound perfect for celebrating. Love the decorated stars! Thanks for sharing my site too.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      December 15, 2018 at 9:26 am

      I don’t even want to count how much butter I’ve gone through this week! But t all tastes great. Julia would be so proud!

  • Abbe
    December 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks, Natalie! They taste great, too!

  • Natalie
    December 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    These look amazing! Great colours 🙂

  • Abbe
    December 20, 2012 at 3:31 am

    XOXOXO Very good!

  • Meirav
    December 20, 2012 at 3:26 am


  • Abbe
    December 20, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Thank you! And I'm not sure she'd appreciate your humor though I sure do!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    December 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Good picture — nice color palette on the decorations. Shortbread is such good stuff, isn't it? We sometimes decorate, but often don't. I hope in the recipe you gave you daughter you included the step for sweeping the floor. 😉 Good stuff — thanks.