Easy Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)

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Shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery Christmas cookies that melt in your mouth.

These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites.

High quality butter and vanilla will produce the best results.


How to Make Easy Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)

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Everyone has that one Christmas cookie that just tastes like the holidays… this is mine!

When I bite into one of these delicious shortbread cookies, it just brings me back to my Grandma’s kitchen filled with Nanaimo bars, sugar cookies and these beauties.

Shortbread cookies are actually very simple to make and require ingredients you likely already have on hand!

They are buttery, not overly sweet and literally melt in your mouth.


This recipe uses a cookie press to press these out.

If you don’t have a cookie press, you can grab one on Amazon or even just roll small balls and flatten them with a fork!

I am lucky enough to have an old vintage cookie press that I’ve had for years.  It creates the same beautiful cookies my grandma used to make!

Keep in mind that although these cookies use a cookie press, these are shortbread cookies and not a spritz cookie.  The texture and flavor are different as spritz cookies generally contain an egg.


Although this recipe originally was mixed using a stand mixer, my Grandma always said that mixing by hand was essential to this recipe.  This recipe has been tested over and over, and you definitely get the best texture by stirring by hand. For those of you asking, yes, you can use a mixer but it takes less than 5 minutes to mix it all by hand and the difference is noticeable.

One thing to remember is that all of the flavor in these cookies comes from the butter and vanilla.  This is a good place to splurge and buy a butter you know and love (rather than a store brand), it will definitely show in the flavor of your cookies.  I use a high quality vanilla as well.

Print Recipe
4.78 from 9 votes
Servings: 40 cookies
Easy Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
8 mins
Total Time:
18 mins
Author: Holly N.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shortbread cookies

Shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery cookies that melt in your mouth. These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites. High-quality butter and vanilla will produce the best results.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, vanilla & powdered sugar on medium until mixed.
  2. Add in cornstarch and flour. Beat just until combined.
  3. Place dough into cookie press and press onto an ungreased pan (Or you can make small balls about 3/4" and press flat with fork). Add sprinkles or colored sugar if desired.
  4. Bake 9-11 minutes or just until done. Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Recipe Notes

Note: This recipe can be doubled using 1 lb of butter and doubling all remaining ingredients.

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


Nutrition Information
Calories: 66, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Potassium: 6mg, Carbohydrates: 5g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2.8%, Calcium: 0.2%, Iron: 1.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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Shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery cookies that melt in your mouth.  These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites.
Shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery cookies that melt in your mouth.  These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites.
Shortbread cookies are simple and classic buttery cookies that melt in your mouth.  These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites.


Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

103 comments on “Easy Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)”

  1. Can you please tell me about the butter you talked about what kind and where to get it? I found the pure vanilla .

    • High quality butter would often say Grade AA. I suggest to use the best one you see at your grocery store.

  2. They look great! Could you put the measurements in grams?

    • Thank you Yani! I’m sorry, I’m unable to provide grams. I would suggest searching for a conversion online.

  3. Great recipe! We just made these cookies tonight. Delicious!

  4. I just made these. Mine tasted like flour. Perhaps I will try again and be extra careful with measurements as I had doubled the recipe. I was so disappointed after reading all the comments about how good they taste and biting into a crumbly flour cookie. Hope they taste better tomorrow. Will try another day as I had planned to take these to a seniors tea tomorrow. I used my 2 yr old press and the dough comes out but not consistently. These new cookie presses do not work as consistently as the ones from a couple decades ago. Boy do I ever sound like my mother saying that!! LOL!!

    • Lucy, I’m sorry they didn’t work out. Did you measure the flour by scooping it out perhaps? I measure by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off. Hope that helps.

  5. This isn’t the recipe I am looking for. I know our recipe used granulated sugar. The recipe came with Mom’s cookie press from the 50’s. We lost it when my brother did some cleanup after she passed.

    • Most cookie presses include the recipe called Spritz Cookies.  I think that’s probably what you are looking for.  They are very similar but use granulated sugar and no corn starch.  It’s the recipe I grew up with and they are delicious but not too sweet.  You should be able to find the recipe on-line.  Good luck, hope this helps you!

  6. I made this recipe during christmas but the cornstarch was 1/3 cup?

  7. I made these for Xmas day and I’ve never had so many guests rave to me about how much they loved these cookies. Many of them asked if they could take some home!
    I love how well this recipe squeezes through my cookie press. Had a nice texture ( instead of the melt and fall apart in your mouth whipped shortbread which I’m more used to). These ones are light with a nice crispness. 
    I will make this my go-to recipe from now on for shortbread!

  8. This is THE BEST shortbread recipe out there. They’re so delicious! With the perfect consistency that melts in your mouth. I used a cookie press. They kept their shape, and was not too thick like other reviewers stated. My guess is those who came out with too thick of dough, did not soften the butter quite enough. Not sure since mine was perfect!

  9. Just tried this recipe and found that it was not sweet enough. Not that shortbread cookies are sweet,i just like a bit more sweetness to them. I would try adding more icing sugar and a little less cornstarch like I have done with my mom’s recipe.
    These are nice and airy though. I also found it hard to use the cookie press, dough was quite firm so I just gave the press a few good pushes.

  10. I made these using my smallest cookie scoop and rolled them into a ball. I then dipped the top in large granulated sugar and pressed with a fork like you suggested. Oh my gosh, these are absolutely the best shortbread cookies I have ever eaten! They are light and fluffy, melt in your mouth deliciousness ! 

  11. I made these spritz cookies. Excellent. Better than my old recipe.
    Would recommend making this.

  12. How can I make these gluten free?

  13. Can you put this dough in a form pan to bake.

  14. My husband waits every year for the after Christmas sale of Danish shortbread cookies then buys enough to last a year. I decided to make this recipe in my holiday baking. He loves them! The batch I just made won’t last more than a few days. I am sure this is going to be a recipe I cook often! But that is okay because it is easy and fun! I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap, shaped into a log, refrigerated it, sliced it  and sprinkled a little raw sugar on it before baking. I give this 5+ stars!

    • Those Danish shortbread cookies are good! I am so glad that your family has enjoyed this recipe. I hope that it helps to keep your husband in cookies all year long!

  15. I’ll probably give this recipe a try. It sounds wonderful…. and relatively easy.
    However, I’m looking to incorporate some dried fruits into the cookie. My first thought was a shortbread. I’ll give it some more thought, before I bake these. I believe my wife has at least one cookie press, here, in the house. . . But if I add chunks of dried fruits, I’m not sure how well the press would work (and it saves me some time, by not searching for the press(es) wherever).

  16. Dough too soft. Add more flour

  17. Gail

  18. I have been making Spritz for years but, love shortbread. 
    Easy preparation and comes out nice with the press.
    Delicious! Just a hint of sweet and a melt in your mouth character 

  19. How do you measure out your flour? Spoon and level? I’ve never tried with corn starch. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  20. Can you use almond instead of vanilla?  Do a thumbprint cookie and put raspberry jam in thumbprint?

    • Yes, you can change the flavor of the extract but almond can have a stronger flavor so I would suggest adding a bit less. I haven’t tried these as a thumbprint cookie however they’re quite fragile and crumbly so I’m not sure how it would work.

  21. Thank-you Holly! I have just found my new favourite cookie recipe… My first time using a cookie press also., it worked for the first few and then they did not come out of the press right, more like spagetti (no idea why), I was so discouraged, because they were so pretty.. I ended up finishing the rest as balls. but I am going to give the cookie press one more chance just because they look so pretty, and also try the other suggestions, I read on here..My husband says they remind him of his mother`s To anyone wanting to try this recipe, Just do it! You won`t be sorry. :)

  22. These are so delicious and creamy !

  23. I love this recipe. It is definitely bakery quality.

  24. I’ve been baking these shortbread for over 40 years with the exception of the vanilla. I got the recipie from my mother. We have them only at Christmas. She had a copper cookie press. She bought me a cookie gun….still have it, still use it!

  25. I used another recipe and it tasted like flour hardly butter. Hope these are not like this cuz man that’s not a good taste to have, the recipe was flour egg yolk sugar butter and vanilla and man didn’t taste well.

  26. I’m so excited to finally get this recipe, and can’t wait to make these.
    Wish me luck

  27. I tried these with a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. It turned out super loose and wouldn’t work with my cookie press. I tried chilling the dough and it still wouldn’t come out right. I tried freezing, but that didn’t work either. I ended up forming into balls and flattening with a glass. Any ideas on how I can get them to work in the cookie press?

    • I made these again last night and they seemed to work just fine. If your mixture is too loose, you can add a couple of spoonfuls of cornstarch to get the right consistency.

  28. I know why your cookies. Dough got crumbling. You just have to work it with your hands. I had the same problem. I mixed it with my hand mixer. Hope that helps. They worked out great.

  29. Mmmmmgoood

  30. I just have a crumbley mess that won’t blend into a dough. Any suggestions?

    • I’m not sure why yours came out crumbly, I’ve made these twice this week and the dough was the right consistency. It does start out a little bit crumbly but as you keep mixing it should all incorporate. Did you use 1 cup of butter?

      • Mine came out super crumbly too! I halved the recipe to see if I liked it and honestly, I couldn’t even form real balls (no cookie press here) because it was so crumbly. Even after squishing the dough in my fingers, it was impossible to work with.

        I think I’m going to try the regular recipe, not halved, and see if it’s any better.

  31. These turned out beautifully. Thank you.

  32. I used this shortbread recipe to make my thumbprint cookies. They turned out great. This cookie truly does melt in your mouth. Just wonderful. I will definitely make them again!

  33. I’m wondering if you could use a quality orange flavoring instead of vanilla.
    Any thoughts welcome.

  34. Just made these cookies. WOW! They are wonderful!

  35. Did you half the original recipe? I found this recipe a week ago and thought it required 1lb butter. Now that I’m ready to try this recipe it now says 1 cup instead of 1lb.

    • Yes, due to several requests, the recipe was resized (retested twice and re-photographed) to create a slightly smaller batch. I personally double it and it works perfectly.

  36. Sorry I wanted to know any substitute for cookie press

    • Hi Ash,
      Yes, you can roll these into small balls and press them flat with a fork (like you would a peanut butter cookie). My friend uses the dotted end of her meat mallet to flatten them and it leaves a neat pattern. Enjoy!

  37. HI! these were AMAZING when we made and are planning to make more ASAP! Wondering though are these able to be frozen ok?

  38. On your recipe for short bread cookies, is the butter salted or unsalted?

  39. Grandmas cookies are shown with frosting….which is missing from the recipe.

  40. I will try these for Christmas, I usually make 9 or 10 different kind

  41. May I share a secret with you? If you use sifted (before measuring) of Swan’s Down Cake Flour, you won’t need the cornstarch. You won’t have a “flour” taste either. It’s pure buttery light as air, melt in your mouth heaven!

  42. These cookies are fantastic. And they would look great in a Holiday cookie canister from Tupperware.

  43. Can the short bread cookies be made using a cookie press?

  44. Seems very interesting. Gotta try it

  45. Thanks Betty

  46. I’m loving your recipies! Photos are beautiful and the food is GREAT!! thank you so much!!

  47. Just made these into “fingers” for dipping ends in chocolate and roll in nuts or sprinkles. Amazing cookies! I haven’t dipped them yet…I hope there are some left to dip! ( A half batch made 45 2″long fingers.)
    I have written this recipe in my cookie press book; it will be my go-to since I used to not be a cookie press cookie fan

  48. my son and I planned to make shortbread cookies today, but when I got to his house I had left my recipe at home. Things happen to a reason! went online and found Grandmas shortbread recipe…needless to say it will be the recipe I will continue to use, they are delicious

  49. About how many cookies does this make?

  50. I made these today, though without a cookie press. The first shortbread that actually kept its shape and it’s so melt-in-your-mouth-delicious! Great recipe.

  51. Why do you use the corn starch.

  52. Does it matter if I use salted or unsalted butter?

  53. What cookie press do you use to get this shape? It looks more like a Wilton 1M tip and not a cookie press disk, but the dough was too think when I tried. Still came out delicious though!

  54. I make this dough and divide into 2-4 portions and roll into logs wrap well and freeze. later I thaw in fridge and treat as well chilled dough and slice and bake. I like to make them about 1/8″ thick slices bake till lightly browned on edges. Cool, dip in melted chocolate and garnish with sprinkles if desired for entertaining and gifts. However they are definitely a diet disaster. you just can’t eat just one!

  55. i have made these cookies for many years. I got the recipe from my mother-in-law. They are so good. They melt in your mouth. Hard to eat just one.

  56. About how many does this recipe make.. seems like alot. Should be a problem to half it right? Seems like pretty round numbers..lol

  57. i love your food and desert

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