Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread 3

Welcome to the Fifth Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. Twelve days of cookies and treats perfect to share with friends and family or for a delicious holiday table of your own.

DAY 1: Sometimes simplicity makes for the best cookies. There is nothing fancy about this shortbread. Just good, quality ingredients that combine to make a cookie that melts in your mouth. A perfect companion to a cup of homemade hot cocoa.

Shortbread 1

For a fancier treat, dip half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate.


Scottish Shortbread

Shortbread 3

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
4 ½ cups flour
OPTIONAL: 6 oz dark chocolate (about 1 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Make sure that butter is very soft, but not melted. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer for 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour, mixing well.

Lightly sprinkle flour on a pastry board or mat. Gently press dough into a rectangle ½” thick (about 10”x 12”). Cut dough into 1” strips lengthwise and then into 2-3” wide rectangles. Prick each cookie with a fork about 4 times.

Use a thin metal spatula to transfer unbaked cookies to an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a small space between cookies. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on a wire rack.

OPTIONAL: Melt chocolate and pour into a narrow bowl or cup. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper or wax paper to harden.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


More cookies to tempt your taste buds:

First Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2009)

Second Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2010)

Third Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2011)

Fourth Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (2012)



Filed under Cookies, Desserts

21 responses to “Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Scottish Shortbread

  1. G’day! Your short breads look delicious, true!
    Wish I could enjoy one right now too!
    Cheers! Joanne


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  3. Sandra

    I forgot about the 12 days of cookies. Oh, that should be Christmas. How fun. Thank you.


  4. Janelle

    just mixed these up and it is so crumbly there is no way they will roll out and stay together. I made several balls with the dough and put in the fridge hoping they will stay together once chilled. Help… What did I do wrong? How do I salvage them?


  5. Pingback: Links: Mincemeat, Harvest Crackers, and a Winner | Canning For Life

  6. These are my husband’s favorite cookies – so of course they are on the list to be made. They came together WAY easy, and the hardest part was getting them on the baking sheet in a orderly fashion. I decided to just roll out the dough ON the baking sheet (I lined it with a silpat mat so I didn’t have to worry about anything sticking). Once the dough was rolled out, I used my dough scraper, and cut the dough into roughly 1×4 inch strips and then used the scraper to gently push apart to give the cookies space. I probably should have chilled the dough, but I was trying to work fast, as I have about 3 other recipes that need to be done before tonights’ festivities. I think I baked them longer than 22 minutes – maybe 30? I accidentally turned off my timer (I was using the microwave to prep something else), so they are a little darker than yours – but still just as good. My husband loves them, but his first comment was that they tasted like Pecan Sandies, without the nuts. Ah, go figure. 😉 Anyway, thanks for the recipe, I will add this to my short list of go-to cookie recipes.
    Merry Christmas!


  7. Victoria

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. This is my first time commenting on a recipe, but it was just so great. Everything was perfect and I would suggest this recipe to any bakers. My parents loved them and so did my siblings. They turned out great and the instructions were easy to follow. I made half a recipe, and for my first batch the cookies a bit smaller and I baked them for 20 minutes, the second batch was larger so I baked them for 25 minutes.


  8. Michelle Barnes

    Hi, I made these today, I was wondering how many days these will be good for, can I freeze them?


    • You can certainly freeze them, and they will be good for at least a month. Stored at room temperature they will last about a week, depending on the humidity level where you live. You can also put a small piece of bread in the container with the cookies to help keep cookies fresh.

      Merry Christmas!


  9. honey

    hi, im just wondering if the butter is salted or unsalted..? going to try it tonight..


  10. Mike dellow

    OK I made these the other night. I don’t have a convenient place to roll out so I rolled into balls and then flattened out on a piece of parchment paper. It truly is the best recipe for short bread cookies!


  11. Pingback: Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Scottish Shortbread | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  12. Laura

    The local “big box store”wasn’t carrying the huge tin container of Walkers shortbread, so I thought what the hell, I’ll make my own. These totally hit the mark…great flavor, and the texture is perfect. I think I may well be over my Walkers addiction!


  13. Pingback: Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Scottish Shortbread — No Empty Chairs | homethoughtsfromabroad626

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