Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Buttery cookies topped with frosting......make these with your kids, enjoy them with your friends

Holiday Shortbread Cookies

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Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 36


  • 1 ½ cups  unsalted butter, room temperature  (I recommend using a European style for the higher fat content which makes for extra buttery cookies! Plugra and Kerrygold are great options)
  • 3/4 cup  confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons  almond extract  (or peppermint extract for an extra little holiday flavor)
  • 3 3/4 cups  all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons  salt


  • 3 tablespoons  hot water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  almond extract (you can also use peppermint, rum or maple)
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 2 3/4 confectioners sugar, you may need a bit more


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. This usually takes about 5-8 minutes. While the butter is beating, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When the butter is ready, turn the mixer to low and slowly add the sugar. You’ll want to make sure the mixer is on low or you’ll wind up with more powdered sugar ON you than IN the bowl. Beat in both extracts and then gradually add the flour and salt until just combined. Gather dough in a ball, divide in half and wrap each half in saran wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is very firm, about 1 hour.
  • Line baking sheet (or sheets, depending on how many you have) with parchment paper. Take out one package of dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8” thick. With your favorite holiday cookie cutters (Christmas trees, stars, snowmen, etc) cut out cookies. Place cookies on baking sheet. Gather scraps into a ball, roll out again and cut out more shapes. Keep on doing this until both dough balls are done and you have 3 baking sheets with 12 cookies on each. I only have 2 baking sheets, so while the first 2 sheets are baking I cut out the remaining 12 cookies. That way they’re ready to go when the first batch is done baking.
  • Bake until cookies are slightly browned at the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool before frosting. Frosting is an option…..sometimes the cookies don’t make it that far in my house!  If you are frosting make sure your cookies are completely cool or the frosting will run off the sides of the cookies. Take a large gallon size ziplock bag, fill with frosting and cut a very small bit off the corner. Pipe icing onto cookies. You can be as creative as you like with this step! I like to frost the borders, or make frosting ornaments on the trees. Put on some Christmas music, pour yourself a hot cocoa and have fun with it!


  • Mix water, extracts and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in enough confectioners sugar to form icing thick enough to pipe.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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