Little twists and interpretations can take shortbread cookies in fun new flavor directions. We have plenty of traditional choices here, too.
The Best Shortbread RecipesShortbread 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.
Dark Chocolate-Espresso ShortbreadWho 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.
- James Carrier
Scottish ShortbreadWith 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 ShortbreadChocolate-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.
- Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
- David Prince
Espresso Shortbread CookiesLooking 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
- Susie Cushner
Lemon-Chamomile ShortbreadA 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 FingersThese 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).
- Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross
Cranberry-Pecan Cheese WafersShortbread can be sweet and savory with these cheese wafers.
- Evan Sklar
Maple-Walnut ShortbreadA 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
- Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Toni Brogen
Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread HeartsInstead 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.
- Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Vanilla Bean ShortbreadUse 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
- James Carrier
Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches
Cheddar ShortbreadWho says shortbread has to be sweet? Try this savory shortbread and you'll be seeing stars—cheddar stars.
Brown Sugar-Pecan ShortbreadDark brown sugar adds rich caramel notes to these shortbread cookies; turbinado sugar provides a crunch.
Rosemary Shortbread CookiesFresh 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 ShortbreadThese cookies make a great food gift for pecan lovers.
- Annabelle Breakey
Savory Spiced ShortbreadsWorld 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 ShortbreadA 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 ShortbreadThese bite-sized treats are a perfect holiday food gift. Pack in a decorative mug or basket.
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 ShortbreadToffee and chocolate give these shortbread cookies a sweet boost. Make a batch for your next cookie swap.
Snowflake ShortbreadTop with sparkling sugar so these shortbread cookies glisten like snowflakes at your next holiday party.
Blueberry Shortbread BitesThese delicately textured blueberry shortbreads have a subtle orange flavor. Make a batch for your next holiday brunch.
Stone-Ground Cornmeal-Pecan ShortbreadCornmeal adds a great texture to these savory rounds. And parmesan cheese provides a pleasant change from traditional cheddar cheese straws.
Mexican Spiced Shortbread CookiesIf you're a fan of Mexican Hot Chocolate, you will love the chile notes in these rich shortbread cookies.
Pecan CookiesSave time this holiday season with make-ahead cookies. Make the cookie dough up to a month in advance, wrap it tightly, and freeze.