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Whipped Shortbread


I recently had a wow moment when I first sampled whipped shortbread. It has the buttery flavor you'd expect from Scottish shortbread, but none of the denseness. These cookies are much more delicate with a texture that practically melts in your mouth. After making my first batch I kept urging anyone in close proximity 'YOU HAVE TO TRY THESE' which was really bossy but I felt it was in their best interest.


This recipe is all about the butter! You'll need a whole 6 sticks (3 cups!). Trust me, it's worth it in the end.

I've been rationing my vanilla beans because prices are astronomical right now, but these cookies are special and deserve the ingredient. If you don't have vanilla beans you may use vanilla extract (which is also expensive right now) or even almond extract.


You'll find the usual shortbread ingredients: butter, flour, sugar, salt. Here's where a standing mixer comes in handy.  Set a timer and beat all the ingredients together for five minutes. The finished cookie dough will be pale and thick.


The dough can be scooped directly from the batter bowl and placed on parchment-lined cookie sheets, but I chose a different method. The dough is thick but lax enough to pipe through pastry tubes. I used the plain, open star and closed star tips from this tube set.


Sprinkle on some holiday magic before you put them in the oven. I used holiday nonpareils, holly berry confetti, and other holiday assortments. Bake them low and slow at 275°F for 30-35 minutes.


I also baked a plain batch and dressed them with dark chocolate. Altogether the cookies turned out festive and made a gorgeous-looking cookie platter.


Crushed peppermint candy adds holiday flavor!


This recipe makes six dozen cookies, so they are perfect for cookie swaps and giveaway cookie trays of all kinds. However, this particular kind of shortbread is not a good candidate for shipping. I'm almost certain these would turn into a cloud of cookie dust before they reach their long-distance destination. I recommend gifting them them close to home.

This blog post is brought to you by Go Bold With Butter! Be sure to check out all their excellent recipes made with real butter and dairy!

Edit: 12/22/17: After a few of you had trouble with the cookies spreading while using metric measures, I re-weighed my ingredients. The flour weight was slightly off and it's been corrected in the recipe. However, after studying recipes across quite a few websites, spreading can be common with this cookie because of high oven temps and water content in subpar butter. As a fail-safe many recipes add a 1 1/2 cups cornstarch to the dough in addition to the flour. Although I feel this recipe does not need cornstarch, those that are dubious may choose to add it as insurance. My best tips are to use high quality butter that is extremely firm when cold. Also, an oven thermometer that hangs inside the oven can best help you gauge the temperature. We're not so much trying to bake these cookies as we are trying to dry them at a low temperature.

Whipped Shortbread
Yields 6 dozen cookies

3 cups/6 sticks (680g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (170g) confectioners’ sugar
4 1/2 cups (685g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped*
Assorted holiday sprinkles and candies
4 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate, melted

Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whip attachment. Mix on high speed until mixture turns pale, about 2 minutes.

Add flour to butter mixture in three additions, mixing well on medium speed after each addition. When flour is incorporated, add salt and vanilla seeds or extract. Beat on high speed 5 minutes; dough should be pale and thick. Transfer dough to piping bags fitted with decorator tips. Alternatively, use a small cookie scoop.

Line two or more cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pipe (or place) mounds of cookie dough on prepared pans; spacing cookies at least 1 inch apart. Add colorful nonpareils or confetti sprinkles to cookies before baking. Transfer cookies on baking sheets to refrigerator to chill 10 minutes, or until cookies are firm to touch.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Bake cookies 30-35 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden around edges and still pale in center. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with chocolate, if using. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.

*2 teaspoons vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla bean.




link Whipped Shortbread By Published: Whipped Shortbread Recipe



18 comments :

  1. Do you think you could freeze this dough or would that negate the effects of whipping it?

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    1. I think this dough would freeze extremely well, and I don't think it would negate any of the whipped texture. Thanks for asking!

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  2. Hi, would this batter be alright in a spritz cookie press? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Stephanie! This dough is similar to spritz cookie dough, but I'm not sure it will work in a cookie press. Most cookie presses are prone to malfunction if the dough isn't exactly the right consistency. I might try it if I had extra time and a plan B (piping bags and tips) to fall back on. xo-h

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  3. Kisha@Design Intervention DiaryDecember 9, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    I'm a shortbread fan and am very excited to try this new twist on an old favorite. Thank you for sharing. Happy holidays to you! :)

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  4. I just made these and....wow! Amazing! They baked up perfectly. I used an Ateco 898 tip to make long cookies to rest on top of glass for a party tonight. Thanks for sharing this recipe -- it's definitely a keeper!!

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    1. Julie that is so smart! I may have to borrow your idea. I bet that makes a gorgeous presentation.

      So glad you tried the recipe! xo-h

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  5. Made these yesterday but they were a total fail - spread and smooshed all over the cookie sheet :( I measured in weight and and followed each step, including chilling - the cookies looked gorgeous going into the oven, but not coming out! :-P Not sure what happened, just wasn't my day, I guess!

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    1. Oh no! Maybe the oven was too hot? Sorry you had trouble!

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  6. I am making these now. I measured the dry ingredients by spooning into the cup measure. Because of Kate's comment I did one sheet first. It turned out perfect. I had the oven at 275 and refrigerated about 10-15 minutes.

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  7. This recipe turned out perfect! I did a trial run tonight to practice for Christmas. This is the absolute best shortbread I've ever had!
    I didn't have a icing bag and tips on hand. So I used my cookie press. The best way it worked was to chill the dough in the bowl then fill the cookie press and then press them out on the baking sheet and bake. This recipe is a must try!

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    1. Hi Alyy! So glad to hear the recipe worked for you! And big, BIG thanks for reporting back with the cookie press info. Others have asked about using a press and I was afraid to recommend it, having never tried it. I plan to make a batch with my cookie press this coming weekend. xo-h

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  8. I also made these using the weights listed, chilled for 25 minutes and they spread like crazy. It seems those of us who specifically mentioned using weights had issues while those not specifying had success. I may try using volume measurements instead as they looked very promising going in that oven!.

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  9. These are sooo good. I even forgot to chill them and had no problem with spreading. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

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  10. Ashley, that's an interesting thought with the weight versus volume. I weighed my ingredients too! They spread, but in a kind of pretty way... they actually looked like Madelines. They still had the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture (although they were very difficult to handle!). I love how delicate they are, but I wish I could have gotten those distinct ridges.

    I also had difficulty adhering the white and dark chocolate to the cookies, as they had a "dusty" kind of texture. The chocolate slid right off once cool.

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  11. This recipe worked perfectly for me and was a huge hit at my office and my husband's. Only change I made was to use vanilla bean paste instead of the bean or vanilla but I'm sure either would work. Wonderful recipe. Thank you for sharing it!

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  12. Thanks for the edit! I recently had a problem with cookies spreading and was wondering where I went wrong. And I had used a different butter brand than I normally use! I'll be on the lookout for the Go Bold Butter

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