Easy Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)

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Shortbread Cookies are a soft, crumbly, and classic buttery Christmas cookie that melts in your mouth. These easy cookies are made using a cookie press to create perfect holiday bites.

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 on a christmas plate

What Are Shortbread Cookies?

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

Shortbread cookies are actually very simple to make and require ingredients you likely already have on hand! They are a butter based cookie that will literally melt in your mouth! I use a cookie press to make these cookies so they do look similar to a Spritz Cookie. The texture and flavor are different as spritz cookies generally contain an egg while shortbread does not.

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.

Shortbread Cookies with sprinkles laid out on the counter.

How to Make Shortbread Cookies

This shortbread cookie recipe is especially close to my heart. I didn’t eat a ton of cookies but I could never resist my Grandma’s shortbread cookies. This recipe has been tested over and over and recently updated to make it easier and for the best flavor!

  1. Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients and blend in butter mixture until combined.
  3. Use a cookie press to press out the dough onto un-greased cookie tray. (Or, if you don’t have a press, follow the recipe suggestion)

To ensure the shortbread cookies don’t turn out too dense make sure to measure the flour properly.

How To Bake Shortbread Cookies

Make sure the oven is preheated to 350°F. I like to line the tray with parchment for perfect cookies every time. However, without parchment your cookies will still turn out great, just bake them following the recipe instructions below!

I am lucky enough to have an old vintage cookie press that I’ve had for years (check your local thrift shops, they turn up from time to time).  It creates the same beautiful cookies from my childhood! But if you don’t have a cookie press, use a fork or alternatively, a glass to press the cookies into a flattened shape about 1/4 inch thick on the tray.

shortbread cookies on a plate

Can You Freeze Shortbread Cookie Dough?

Shortbread dough can be frozen for up to three months. Once you thaw it and bake it, it shouldn’t be refrozen again, so alternatively, try baking the cookies before freezing in tins (there really is nothing quite like the taste of a frozen shortbread cookie!) You can freeze them with or without icing.

Shortbread cookies are a staple at Christmas. The holidays just wouldn’t be quite the same without them!

Delicious Holiday Cookies

Note: While this recipe has been made many times as written, measurements have been slightly adjusted to create more consistent results.

shortbread cookies on a plate
4.58 from 35 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Author Holly N.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
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 butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Mix in cornstarch and salt.
  • Add flour a little bit at a time. Beat until just combined.
  • Place dough into a cookie press and press onto an ungreased pan. Add sprinkles or colored sugar if desired.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes or just until done. Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a cookie press, you can make small balls about 3/4" and press flat with fork.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 116, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 80mg, Potassium: 11mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 236IU, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg
Keyword shortbread cookies

The Best Shortbread Cookie Icing

Of course you can use classic sugar cookie icing to decorate shortbread cookies.

  • Or, try serving them up on a platter with chocolate buttercream frosting and a knife for spreading it!
  • My kids love to drizzle or dip shortbread cookies in melted chocolate. Mix a cup of chocolate chips with half a teaspoon of oil, and microwave at 10 second intervals, stirring until the chips melt. You can use white chocolate chips for this, caramel, or peanut butter, too!
  • Or, the heck with it, just grab a jar of Nutella or make your own and have at it!
Shortbread Cookies on a plate and on a wooden board with a title
Shortbread Cookies on a wooden board with writing
Shortbread Cookies on a wooden board and on a plate with a title

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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!

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