Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Sunday 11 December 2016

Oh how I loved Christmas when I was a child.  My mother used to bake us some lovely treats for the occasion.   Date slices, War Cake, Feather Squares and cut out shortbread biscuits/cookies.  She would decorate the shortbreads with icing and bits of candied cherry.  Oh my but they tasted just lovely.   I have been on the look out ever since for a homemade shortbread that tastes as good as the memory of those.  I think I found it!

I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Martha Stewart cooking site, called Holiday Shortbread Cookies.  They are a slice and bake cookie.  I like slice and bake cookies.  You can bake just as many as you like, or you can freeze the dough to bake them whenever.   

Once you have the dough made and chilled, they are at the ready to slice and bake at your baking whim.  They are simple.  They are delicious.  At least that has always been my experience.   

I shaped these into a square edged log before chilling and rolling.  Then I divided the log in two and rolled the edges of each log in a different coloured sanding sugar.  Red and Green.  Very festive.  I quite like the squarish edges.  

They are not fancy, but boy oh boy are they ever tasty.  If you wanted to you could just leave them plain and then ice/decorate them after they are baked and cooled.   Vanilla Buttercream with a spot of candied glace cherry would be lovely.   I took one bite and I was a child again.  These were, to put it simply . . .  gorgeous.  But I'd expect no less from Martha.

*Slice & Bake Shortbread Cookies*
Makes 24
These taste like the shortbread cookies of my childhood.  Simple and delicious.  I rolled mine in coloured sugars, green and red, to give a bit of colour around the edges. 

225g unsalted butter (1 cup) at room temperature
100g of confectioners/icing/powdered sugar, sifted (3/4 cup)
1 tsp fine sea salt
330g plain flour (2 1/3 cups)

 Cream the sugar and butter together until well combined.  Add the flour and salt and beat together just to combine.  Shape into a roll, 8 inches in length.  You can keep it round or square it off.  Wrap well and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour until firm  (You can freeze for up to one month if desired.)

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4.  Line two baking sheets with baking paper.  Place sugar crystals on a plate.  I cut my roll in half crosswise so that I had two rolls.  One roll I rolled in red sugar crystals, pressing them in all around.  The other I rolled in green sugar crystals, pressing them in all around  Cut each roll into 1/4 inch thick slices.  If you need to reroll the edges do so.  Place onto the prepared baking sheets leaving a bit of space in between each.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking.  They should be set and just beginning to brown around the edges.  Let sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.

I am going to bake some more of these for gifting I think.  They were quick and easy to make and quite pretty in a simple way when done.  Oh and most importantly, they were delicious.  I can think of a few people who would enjoy a gift of these!  I highly recommend you give them a go!  Bon Appetit!


  1. You do have it - except in the day we never had unsalted butter. I make my grandmothers which were the same as your mom's but my gran called them Scotch cakes instead of shortbread (probably had something to do with Nova Scotia). It was simply 1 cup softened salted butter, 1 cup icing sugar, 2 cups flour - , cool for an hour, roll out abt. 1/4 inch , cut with a round cutter and bake 300F for abt. 15 min and when cool top with just a dollop of icing in the middle and top with a piece of candied cherry... Classic! Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas Linda! You are right classic! Another favourite of mine is my whipped shortbreads. Just beat it up and drop! Yum! xo

  2. They look wonderful..I love shortbreads..don't we have soo many shortbread recipes?
    Lol I went through my Christmas cookbook..of things I have made through the years..having kept the best,I must have 10 shortbread recipes..all good as I am certain these are:)

    1. Sorry for the last response on this Monique! Your comment only just came through this morning! What is up with that I don't know! I bet your have some lovely shortbread recipes. IMO you can never have too many shortbread recipes! xo


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