Soft, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth delicious this Shortbread cookies recipe will be sure to delight your family this Christmas.
Shortbread are a delightfully sweet, buttery cookie that will melt-in-your-mouth with each small bite.
They taste wonderful on their own or accompanied by a hot cup of tea, which is how I love to enjoy mine.
Made using just three simple pantry ingredients – butter, powdered sugar and flour. These shortbread cookies couldn’t be easier to make.
Traditionally eaten among friends and family at Christmas time these shortbread are a lovely sweet treat to enjoy this holiday season. Or at any time of the year.
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Why you will love this Shortbread Cookies Recipe for Christmas
- Delightful melt-in-your-mouth texture
- Easy to make
- Everyone loves shortbread cookies, right?
- A delightful gift to package up for friends and family
- A good excuse to bring out your cute cookie cutters
So, you may be wondering why shortbread is so popular around Christmas time.
Why is shortbread popular at Christmas?
Shortbread originated in Scotland and was known an expensive luxury.
On special occasions, such as Christmas, New Year’s and weddings ordinary people would enjoy this Scottish treat. With many traditions including shortbread it’s still an important part of their culture today.
Shortbread is also popular in New Zealand where I live, as well as England, Australia and some parts of Europe.
My mum has always been a lover of shortbread making it a treat we often enjoy year round. One of those times being Christmas of course.
This year I found some vintage cookie cutters at the markets, which I wanted to dust off and use.
Visiting a local flea market or thrift shop is a good way to find affordable baking supplies. You’d be surprised at what you discover.
Some of the treasures I have found at the markets are good quality baking tins for loafs and slices, cookie cutters, silver knives & spoons, plus many linen cloths, which I use to line baskets and tins with.
I encourage you to look online on fb market place, eBay or locally in stores and markets.
What is the difference between shortbread and sugar cookies?
Shortbread cookies have a short ingredients list opposed to sugar cookies.
Shortbread contain a good amount of butter, which gives them that soft crumbly texture and flavour.
Sugar cookies are lighter but have a crunchier texture. You may find them a little bit easier to use cookie cutters with.
Why do you put corn starch in shortbread cookies?
- Keeps the shortbread light and delicate.
- Creates the melt-in-your-mouth texture that shortbread is known for.
When making shortbread should the butter be cold?
The butter needs to be room temperature in order to beat the powdered sugar and butter together. If the butter is too cold it will be really difficult to beat.
It is important to chill the dough before cooking to allow the butter to chill.
This step shouldn’t be missed because it helps stop the shortbread from spreading out when cooking.
I’m guilty of skipping the dough chilling step and having my cookies spread out into a flat, thin mess. Lesson learnt!
Tips to make the best Christmas shortbread cookies
- Chill the dough for 15-20 minutes before cooking it. This helps the butter to chill again which stops the dough from spreading out flat in the oven. When the butter is soft it melts in the oven quicker.
- Cook your shortbread on a low temperature. I tested this by cooking a few batches of cookies. I tried a warmer temperature, which resulted in shorter cooking time but crunchier, brown shortbread. Not what I wanted. Lower temps allow the cookie to cook, and stay soft without getting too golden.
- Keep the shortbread dough an even thickness of 1cm so they cook all at the same time. I used a rolling pin to spread my dough out. I found this nifty rolling pin that allows you to set the thickness you want your dough to be. Obviously a normal rolling pin will do the job but you need to be careful with pressure to try get an even thickness. This rolling pin does the work for you.
- Don’t melt your butter! Melted butter will be soaked up by the flour and sugar too quickly creating a soft, runny dough. The butter needs to be soft enough, so it can be beaten with the powdered sugar, creating a nice fluffy mixture.
How to gift these shortbread cookies for Christmas
I always say that thoughtful gifts are gifts that matter the most.
Your family are sure to appreciate a handmade gift, whether that be baking them cookies, making them this homemade coffee scrub, a gift basket or these cute pot holders. I’m sure they will appreciate the thought, time and love that went into your gift.
I know many of us are living within tight budgets this year, so a tin of yummy shortbread cookies is a good way to keep costs low.
Here are a few ways you can package your shortbread cookies for gifts this Christmas
- In a mason jar with fabric and ribbon around the lid.
- In a vintage tin or box lined with linen fabric or baking paper.
- Wrapped in cellophane with a ribbon – I love using velvet ribbons to add a touch of luxury to a simple gift.
These shortbread cookies are oh so delicious.
I hope you enjoy making many batches this Christmas to share with your family, while chatting and drinking many cups of tea.
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