Shortbread Cookies

Happy Christmas Eve and happy holidays! I should be scrambling around my house making canapes and getting ready for the flood of relatives coming through the door this afternoon, but I tarry. Instead, I’m thinking about whether I need to bake more of these cookies for tonight, and about things I would like but will not get for Christmas, such as:

  • A mechanism in my bed that allows a hole to be cut out so that I sleep on my stomach and still be able to breathe, massage-table style
  • An secret FDA-approved supply of injectible glucocorticoid that is only supposed to be administered by doctors but that I could administer myself whenever my skin breaks out

Back to things that I can make a reality: the kids and I baked these cookies for me to bring to the office for the holidays. They’re so easy that even I can make them, and the girls decorated liberally with sprinkles. I only had to make two colors of frosting (red and green) which makes me happy.

I believe that Martha Stewart is the original source for this recipe, which I got years ago in a cookie exchange. Here it is:


This buttery cookie gets better with age: it can be stored up to a month, and over time the flavor deepens.


  • 1 1/3 cups (2 sticks + 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt and vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until just combined.

On a very floured surface using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough to about 1/4″. (I used floured wax or parchment paper, below and above the dough — less sticky I find.) Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Bake until evenly pale golden but not browned, 13-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 36 cookies.

For the icing, I used Marian at Sweetopia’s recipe here. If you need to know anything about cookie decorating, look around her site — she knows everything!

Hope this fills your emergency cookie needs. Now — to clean. Have a delicious Christmas and holiday season!





  • Patricia
    December 25, 2012 - 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas! These last a month?! I’m intrigued. Do you just store the cookies room temperature? Iced or uniced?

    • December 25, 2012 - 12:31 PM | Permalink

      Merry Christmas Patricia!!! Yes, they do last a month — I have tried both freezer and room temperature. Freezer isn’t so great if you have frosted cookies — the icing doesn’t fare well. But room temperature in an airtight container works great. And Martha’s right — I think they taste better after a while…so you can batch-bake all you like!

  • December 26, 2012 - 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Your cookies look the perfect combination of professional but homemade! Super cute, Sandi (and girls)! I’ve never heard of aging sugar cookies — i am intrigued greatly by this idea! though cookies don’t usually last too long around our house… phooey.

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday! We did!… This year was so relaxed, good pace, good food, good people around.. just like it should be. Happy new year!!

  • Melissa G
    January 13, 2013 - 10:23 PM | Permalink

    I remember this recipe! I still make them every Christmas too. 🙂

    • January 14, 2013 - 3:34 PM | Permalink

      Remember when I had to call you that first year in a shortbread panic? I’ve come so far with your support! 🙂

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