Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Three-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Some of the best recipes in life are simple recipes, and that’s exactly the case with shortbread cookies.

The only essential ingredients in shortbread cookies are butter, sugar, and flour. THAT’S IT! Just mix the ingredients together, divide the dough, bake it in the oven and BAM cookies!

It’s a great, no-frills cookie that is perfect with coffee or tea and it’s just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without being over-the-top crazy loaded with sugar.

But if you want to dress up the cookie, by all means go for it! The possibilities for add-ins and toppings are endless, and there are dozens of different ways to present shortbread cookies.

Personally, I like to use this recipe in place of cut-out sugar cookies because it’s a lot simpler and it works just as well!

Make sure to save this recipe for your repertoire to have on hand when you need to bake something last minute!

Three-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
Servings: Makes about 20 cookies depending on how big you make them

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 cups flour
  • (Optional: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, adds a little more flavor)
  1. Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute)
  2. Add the powdered sugar and optional vanilla extract and mix until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl (about 2 minutes)
  3. Slowly add in the flour and mix until just combined – do not overmix!
  4. Flatten the dough out on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Chill dough for at least one hour and up to 72 hours.
  6. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the dough, and cut the dough into shapes using your favorite cookie cutter.
  8. Place shaped dough on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes (depending on the size of your cookie, they make take more or less time; start checking the doneness at 10 minutes)
  9. Remove cookie from oven and cool on a wire rack
  10. Shortbread cookies will stay fresh for about a week in an airtight container. They also freeze well.


  1. This may be a dumb questions, but as I've never made shortbread cookies before, how will I know when they're done? I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks so much!

    1. Hello! That's definitely not a silly question at all! The cookies are done when the bottom of the cookies start to barely look tan. Since the cookies start out white, the tan color should be very subtle. I suggest pulling the baking sheet out of the oven after ten minutes and using a spatula to check the bottom. If the bottom is still completely white, put the baking sheet back in the oven and check again in another two minutes. Additionally, it's good to remember that the cooking time varies depending on the size of the cookies. So for the first batch I would keep a close eye on them! I hope that helps! Thanks so much for reading!


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