Buttery Scottish shortbread is both simple and sweet and it’s perfect for the holidays.
Learn how to make Scottish shortbread with this simple and foolproof three-ingredient recipe.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase, this site may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
If you have never tried Scottish shortbread cookies, you are in for a treat!
These buttery cookies are sweet, but not overly sweet. They also have this incredible ability to just a tad crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth tender at the same time.
Nostalgia, like it often does, prompted my desire to make shortbread cookies like Walkers. I can recall the red and green plaid on the box of shortbread cookies that accompanied the piles of soft molasses sugar cookies that always made an appearance around the holidays every year during my childhood.
Scottish shortbread is the kind of cookie that feels a little fancy, so I tended to nibble small bites, often between sips of hot cocoa.
Allowing the bites to melt in my mouth before taking another, I hoped to make the cookies last longer because they always seemed to disappear quickly.
Though perfect for the holidays, this simple recipe is tasty year-round.
Made with just butter, sugar and flour (and a little salt and vanilla if you like), this easy Scottish shortbread recipe is one you can make easily and quickly any time the mood strikes.
More Incredible Holiday Cookie Recipes
Gifting Scottish Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread cookies are certainly among my favorite cookies to munch on, but they are also perfect for gift giving. They are so simple to make and are made with pantry staples, so you can easily whip up a batch of these cookies on a whim.
At the end of the holiday season, it’s a good idea to stock up on various cookie tins when they are marked down for clearance. You can store them away until next year and fill them with this easy Scottish shortbread recipe.
Your kids can give them to their teachers, and you can keep some around to treat the UPS delivery driver, the mail lady, and the garbage collector.
Gifting Scottish shortbread cookies is a simple yet meaningful way to let someone know that you appreciate them during the holiday or any time of the year.
How to Make Scottish Shortbread
It’s really easy to make these Scottish shortbread cookies.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Confectioner’s Sugar
- All-purpose Flour
- Vanilla Extract (optional)
- Salt, if using unsalted butter
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Prepare the pan. First, you’ll line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment. This will make it super easy to remove the cookies after they bake.
Make the dough. Next, you’ll combine butter and sugar and blend until smooth.
Add in the vanilla followed by the flour. Continue mixing until a soft dough forms.
Bake and serve. Last, you’ll press the cookie dough into the pan and prick the surface with a fork.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden in color. Slice into cookies and allow to cool before removing from the pan. I like to use a bench scraper to get fairly straight cuts–but they don’t have to be perfect (mine never are!).
Notes and Adaptations:
- Store these shortbread cookies in an airtight container so they don’t get too crumbly and stale.
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9x9" baking dish with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract, if using.
- With the mixer on low speed, add flour (and salt, if using), and mix just until fully incorporated and a soft dough forms.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan. Use the tines of a fork to poke the dough multiple times.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden-brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven. While still warm, carefully cut into cookie bars, then allow to cool completely before lifting from pan to serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 114mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
Get the Instant Pot Meal Plan Jumpstart
Join the free community and you'll learn simple ways to easily create tasty food for your family, as well as immediate access to the FREE Instant Pot Meal Plan Jumpstart to help you get a tasty dinner on the table in a flash!
"Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience in such a friendly and delightful way!!! So far, I'm very impressed with the results...thanks again for your guidance into this new realm of cooking!" -Margaret
Enter my free resource library for my latest printables and resources! Password is 'IHEARTMARGIN' -- please copy and paste that in at the link above. Thanks for being a subscriber!!