Shortbread Cookie Recipes for Every Taste

Little twists and interpretations can take shortbread cookies in fun new flavor directions. We have plenty of traditional choices here, too.

  • Butter Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Dan Becker

    The Best Shortbread Recipes

    Shortbread cookies make tasty food gifts at Christmastime (or any other time of year!). The rich butter flavor and crumbly texture of this cookie makes it a staple of holiday baking. It's very easy to make. And the cookie variations with this recipe are unlimited.
  • <p>Dark Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread</p>
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel

    Dark Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread

    Who knew that adding cocoa powder and instant coffee to shortbread dough would produce such a deep, dark chocolate treat? The easy dough is shaped in a circle that's scored and cut into triangles and then dipped in white and dark chocolate.

    Recipe: Dark Chocolate-Espresso Shortbread

  • Scottish Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, James Carrier

    Scottish Shortbread

    With just four ingredients, these buttery-rich shortbread cookies can be made in the food processor or with a handheld mixer. Because they're baked in pans rather than free form, shaping the cookies is a snap, too. Shortbread doesn't get any easier.

    Recipe: Scottish Shortbread

  • Mocha-Chocolate Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel

    Mocha-Chocolate Shortbread

    Chocolate-covered shortbread is the yummy end to a wonderful meal. You're likely to have all of the ingredients for this recipe stocked in the pantry.
  • Chai Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Chai Shortbread

    The subtle spices of Indian chai tea flavor these small crispy shortbread rounds. Serve them with hot chocolate or for a light dessert. Really love the flavor of chai? Consider doubling the spices for a bolder tasting cookie.

    Recipe: Chai Shortbread

  • Espresso Shortbread Cookies
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, David Prince

    Espresso Shortbread Cookies

    Looking for something new to flavor your shortbread? These round beauties are laced with ground espresso, coffee liqueur, and cacoa nibs (the small bits of roasted cacoa beans used to make chocolate). With their subtle chocolate flavor and crunchy texture, the nibs will be a pleasant surprise to cookie monsters.

    Recipe: Espresso Shortbread Cookies

  • Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Susie Cushner

    Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread

    A little bit of loose tea and some freshly grated lemon zest cut the richness of traditional shortbread. Baked in a 9-inch pan, this small-batch cookie recipe is perfect for times when you crave a little shortbread but don't want to be in the kitchen all day.

    Recipe: Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread

  • Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Fingers
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel

    Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Fingers

    These cookies have a double dose of chocolate and are the perfect pickup party bites. And at only 65 cents per serving, you can make enough for your guests and your secret sweet stash (we promise not to tell).

    Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Fingers

  • Brown Sugar Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross

    Brown Sugar Shortbread

    An unusually thick shortbread with a hint of caramel flavor from the brown sugar used in the dough, these rich cookies are going to disappear in a flash. Be sure to tuck some away in the freezer to pull out for a quick holiday dessert or snack.

    Recipe: Brown Sugar Shortbread

  • Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Wafers
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Wafers

    Shortbread can be sweet and savory with these cheese wafers.
  • Maple-Walnut Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Evan Sklar

    Maple-Walnut Shortbread

    A twist on the traditional, these cookies are flavored with maple syrup and strewn with walnuts that toast to a nutty-rich flavor as the shortbread bakes. Instead of worrying about scoring and shaping the dough, the shortbread bakes in a single layer and is cut after cooking.

    Recipe: Maple-Walnut Shortbread

  • Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Hearts
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Toni Brogen

    Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Hearts

    Instead of the traditional triangle or square shapes, this easy shortbread dough is rolled and cut into heart shapes and then dipped in chocolate and nuts. It also looks spectacular cut into stars or trees with edges dipped in white chocolate and rolled in nuts or sprinkles.

    Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Hearts

  • Vanilla Bean Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Vanilla Bean Shortbread

    Use pantry staples and a flavorful vanilla bean to create these delicate cookies. Have a holiday party coming up and need a make-ahead dessert? Prepare these shortbreads up to five days in advance.

    Recipe: Vanilla Bean Shortbread

  • Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, James Carrier

    Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches

    This variation, reminiscent of a Linzer torte, is a beautiful addition to any holiday cookie tray. The ingredient list is short, and the process is simple. Make the cookies in advance and freeze without the jam. Assemble just before serving.

    Recipe: Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches

  • Cheddar Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Oxmoor House

    Cheddar Shortbread

    Who says shortbread has to be sweet? Try this savory shortbread and you'll be seeing stars—cheddar stars.
  • Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread

    Dark brown sugar adds rich caramel notes to these shortbread cookies; turbinado sugar provides a crunch.
  • Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Oxmoor House

    Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

    Fresh rosemary adds a fragrant quality to these delicate cookies. And because the herb traditionally represents remembrance, a batch of these treats is ideal as a thank-you.
  • Pecan-Toffee Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Pecan-Toffee Shortbread

    These cookies make a great food gift for pecan lovers.
  • Savory Spiced Shortbreads
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Annabelle Breakey

    Savory Spiced Shortbreads

    World travelers and adventurous eaters will appreciate the sweet and spicy curry flavor that tints these shortbreads and takes the taste buds on an Oriental Express-style adventure.

    Recipe: Savory Spiced Shortbreads

  • Butter-Mint Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Oxmoor House

    Butter-Mint Shortbread

    A dash of mint extract gives these buttery shortbread cookies an extra splash of flavor. Choose peppermint or spearmint extract to give them the flavor twist you prefer; then serve them with hot mint tea or a tall glass of sweet tea and a slice of fresh lemon.
  • Chocolate-Cherry Sugar-Crusted Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Oxmoor House

    Chocolate-Cherry Sugar-Crusted Shortbread

    These bite-sized treats are a perfect holiday food gift. Pack in a decorative mug or basket.
  • Raspberry Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel

    Raspberry Shortbread

    "Love this shortbread, just made it for Christmas Eve and was a huge hit." -CCinYardley Almond extract and raspberry jam give this classic shortbread cookie a rich upgrade.
  • Toffee-Chocolate Chip Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Ryan Benyi; Styling: Lynn Miller

    Toffee-Chocolate Chip Shortbread

    Toffee and chocolate give these shortbread cookies a sweet boost. Make a batch for your next cookie swap.
  • Snowflake Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Snowflake Shortbread

    Top with sparkling sugar so these shortbread cookies glisten like snowflakes at your next holiday party.
  • Blueberry Shortbread Bites
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Dan Becker

    Blueberry Shortbread Bites

    These delicately textured blueberry shortbreads have a subtle orange flavor. Make a batch for your next holiday brunch.
  • Stone-Ground Cornmeal-Pecan Shortbread
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Oxmoor House

    Stone-Ground Cornmeal-Pecan Shortbread

    Cornmeal adds a great texture to these savory rounds. And parmesan cheese provides a pleasant change from traditional cheddar cheese straws.
  • Mexican Spiced Shortbread Cookies
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Mexican Spiced Shortbread Cookies

    If you're a fan of Mexican Hot Chocolate, you will love the chile notes in these rich shortbread cookies.
  • Pecan Cookies
    Text by Maureen Callahan and Deanne Revel, Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Sarah Smart

    Pecan Cookies

    Save time this holiday season with make-ahead cookies. Make the cookie dough up to a month in advance, wrap it tightly, and freeze.
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