One Classic Cookie Dough – 12 Ways!

shortbread cookies recipes

One Cookie Dough – 12 Ways! My signature shortbread cookie dough has been my holiday go-to forever, no wonder I’ve come up with so many variations. This classic cookie recipe is just waiting for you to put your own stamp on it.

Clotted Cream Shortbread, stacked

I have a soft spot in my heart  for shortbread of all kinds. It was probably the first cookie I learned to make and I’ve been perfecting it ever since. The recipe is so simple, and the distinctive buttery rich flavor and melting texture is hard to match. Most of my shortbread cookie recipes can be traced back to a root recipe that itself is adapted from the traditional Scottish shortbread formula of 1 part sugar to 2 parts butter to 3 parts flour (by weight.)

Shortbread dough can be baked in a pan or rolled into a log for a convenient “slice-and-bake” style so you can keep some in your fridge or freezer ready to go when you need a little holiday cheer!


Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

These festive shortbread cookies are my latest iteration, and I have to say, they’re pretty genius. The fresh cranberries add a burst of tart fruity flavor that’s rare in any cookie, let alone shortbread. They’re a must try.

a stack of cranberry orange shortbread cookies



Chocolate Dipped Churro Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread dough can be rolled and cut into all sorts of shapes, and they are perfect for dipping into chocolate. A generous amount of cinnamon in the dough brings me right back to the first warm churro I ever ate!

chocolate dipped shortbread cookies on a plate



Maple Walnut Shortbread Cookies

Maple walnut is one of my all time favorite flavor combinations, and it happens to work really well with a buttery shortbread base. The glaze is optional, but gives these cookies a sweet boost.

walnut shortbread cookies with milk



Douglas Fir Shortbread Cookies

Delicious! Just made them and have enough sugar to make a second batch as a gift. ~ Julie

A woodsy shortbread made with fresh fir needles…making them perhaps the ultimate Christmas cookie!

A stack of shortbread cookies made with fir needles



New Fallen Snow Shortbread Cookies

These pretty cookies are delicately flavored with vanilla bean and peppermint. Sparkling sugar gives them great texture and crunch, and the illusion of a dusting of fresh snow.

sparkly shortbread cookies



Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Omg, what can I say? These cookies aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re ultra dark, ultra chocolatey, and over-the-top delicious in a decadent sort of way. Try one warm from the oven…

double dark chocolate chip shortbread cookies



Pecan Sandies

One of my favorites…this recipe swaps in brown sugar for a different flavor profile, and lots of toasted pecans. They’re great with after dinner coffee.

pecan sandies on a plate



Fruitcake Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are just plain fun, and they really taste like the holidays. Use candied fruit or regular dried fruit, the effect is lovely.

a cascade of fruit cake cookies on a white ground



Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

“I made these and they were amazing!!!! I dipped them halfway in dark chocolate.” ~ Christine

Pistachios used to be a hard to find luxury, but the American pistachio market has exploded in the last decades and now they’re everywhere, and affordable, even shelled! Take advantage with this recipe, and add dried cranberries for a holiday vibe.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies cooling



Savory Herb Shortbread Crackers

Who says shortbread has to be sweet? Shortbread “cookies” lend themselves well to savory flavors too like herbs, cheese, and spices. They make a great addition to the cocktail hour or cheese course. Before baking I laminated fresh herbs onto the surface of the shortbread and they baked up so pretty.

Savory herb shortbread crackers on a cooling rack



Strawberry Shortbread Cookies

Freeze dried strawberry powder makes this cookie possible. They have, believe it or not, a vibrant fresh strawberry flavor, plus, they’re so pretty in pink.

strawberry shortbread cookies in a ceramic berry basket



Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

These cookies have a cult following, and I’m not surprised. Peanut butter doubles down on the melt-in-your-mouth texture of shortbread ~ and when you add in chunks of chocolate, oh my! This is what I make when I want to treat myself 🙂

a stack of peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread cookies

shortbread cookies recipes
5 from 5 votes

Basic Shortbread Cookie Dough

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 10 - 12 cookies
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well combined, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the flour and mix until the dough is uniform.
  • Transfer the dough to a work surface and form into a log about 8 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or until ready to bake your cookies. Note: you can make the dough the day ahead, or freeze it at this point.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the chilled dough into about 12-16 slices about 1/2 inch thick. Place them on your prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes. They will still be pale, and will be quite soft until they have cooled down a bit. Allow them to cool partially on the baking pan and then transfer to a baking rack to finish cooling. Note: for a crisper cookie, slice them thinner or cook them a little longer.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Sue, I don’t have a stand mixer. Will be able to use my hand-held beaters to make the dough for these cookies?

    • Reply
      December 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      Yes, you can even make it with a wooden spoon, it just takes a little elbow grease. Be sure to start with soft butter.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    5 stars
    You are a genius, girl!
    I get daily inspired by you.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Thank You for the lovely recipes.

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