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.

Completed Press Cookie recipe on christmas themed plate

Homemade Shortbread Cookies

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. They’re buttery and melt in your mouth tender.

Shortbread cookies are actually very simple to make and require ingredients you likely already have on hand! I love these delicate cookies as they are not overly sweet and literally melt in your mouth.

Scatted Press Cookies with sprinkles

What Are Shortbread Cookies?

Shortbread cookies 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.

Tree and Snowflake Shaped Shortbread cookies

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!

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 (check your local thrift shops, they turn up from time to time).  It creates the same beautiful cookies from my childhood!

Keep in mind that although these cookies use a cookie press, these are shortbread cookies and not a spritz cookie.

4.65 from 14 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Shortbread Cookies (Cookie Press)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 40 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.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

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Instructions

  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.
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.)

Keyword shortbread cookies

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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.

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About the author

Holly

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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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Comments

  1. These were super easy and tasty however, I made 1 batch and felt it really needed more salt to balance the sweetness. I like my shortbread to have that hint of salt to balance the sweetness. I made another batch and used 1/4 tsp salt and those ones were perfect.

  2. Tips on getting these to stay in their tree shape while using the cookie press? :( I chilled the sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes. They taste good, just look like ugly blobs lol

    1. Oh no, how disappointing! I haven’t had that problem. Do you live in a humid area? Did you use butter (not margarine) and all purpose flour? Did you grease your cookie sheet (or use a non-stick or slippery cookie sheet)?

      I really hope chilling the dough helped.

  3. What setting did you use on your cookie press? Thin, medium, thick? Because I want mine to look just like yours. They are beautiful.

  4. Easy Shortbread Cokies (Cookie Press)
    This recipe is missing ingredients. I mixed it as directed and it was so dry there was no way it would form into balls, so I looked up another recipe and added 1 egg. Then it was prefect. I think you need to edit the recipe so others don’t run into this.

    1. I can’t say why you had trouble with this recipe as it works for me as written. Shortbread doesn’t contain egg (Spritz cookies do) so I do not add egg to this recipe.

      Did you scoop your flour into the measuring cup from your container or did you measure the flour by sprinkling it into the measuring cup? Scooping the flour can sometimes cause it to be packed into the cup.

    1. I’ve never tried refrigerating this dough. This dough is best used at room temperature, so refrigerating it may make it a bit harder to work with.

  5. Ok, so I just made these with vegan margarine and they turned out great! I was a little worried they would spread using the margarine but they didn’t.
    It was my first time using a cookie press too. My first batch I used my practically brand new condition rimless cookie sheet, but it was a little too slippery and some of my cookies didn’t want to stick. My second batch I used a well worn cookie sheet with much better results. Great recipe! Thank you

  6. I have recently went vegan. I am going to try to make these with vegan butter, if that doesn’t work I’ll try coconut oil, or a mixture of both. I’ll post my results for anyone looking for a vegan option.

    1. You can just leave out the added salt if you want to use salted butter. You can also do both if you want a slightly saltier cookie.

  7. I’d like to try these in place of my spritz cookies this year.  Do you know if I could tint them with food coloring like I do the spritz?

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

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

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

  9. 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!!

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ! 

    1. You can use 1 to 1 ratio of gluten free flourWITH xanthem gum. Look on ingredients.. Will work perfectly. I use this all the time when baking.

  15. 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!

    1. 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!

  16. 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).

  17. 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 

    1. 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.

  18. 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. :)

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

    1. 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.

  22. 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.

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

  25. 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!

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

    1. I’ve tried to find one similar online to show you but I haven’t seen one. This cookie press disk has 7 star shapes on it in a circle, the cookie press itself is probably 40 years old. :)

      1. Thank you! With your description I was able to find a vintage cookie press on Etsy with that disk. Can’t wait till it gets here to try it out!

      2. So glad to hear I wasn’t a cookie press failure! The dough was too thick but I am definitely going to find a vintage cookie press!

  30. 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!

  31. 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.

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