Whipped Shortbread

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.

Whipped Shortbread

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.

Whipped Shortbread

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.

Whipped Shortbread

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.

Whipped Shortbread
Whipped Shortbread

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.

Whipped Shortbread
Whipped Shortbread

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.

Whipped Shortbread
Whipped Shortbread

Crushed peppermint candy adds holiday flavor!

Whipped Shortbread

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

Heather Baird
Light and airy, whipped shortbread cookies are buttery beyond words with melt-in-your-mouth texture. The cookies are delicious plain but they look beautiful dressed up for Christmas. Vary the toppings with sprinkles, chopped nuts and crushed candies.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 dozen

Ingredients
 
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

*2 teaspoons vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla bean.
Keyword Christmas cookies, real butter, shortbread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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B
B
3 years ago

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

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  B

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

smunchimunch
smunchimunch
3 years ago

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

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  smunchimunch

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

Kisha@Design Intervention Diary
Kisha@Design Intervention Diary
3 years ago

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! 🙂

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago

Happy holidays to you, too! xo

Julie
Julie
3 years ago

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!!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  Julie

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

Kate
Kate
3 years ago

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! 😛 Not sure what happened, just wasn't my day, I guess!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  Kate

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

joanmessenger
joanmessenger
3 years ago

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.

Alyy
Alyy
3 years ago

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!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  Alyy

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

Ashley
Ashley
3 years ago

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!.

CL
CL
3 years ago

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

AnaEatsEverything
AnaEatsEverything
3 years ago

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.

cassie
cassie
3 years ago

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!

Jessica
Jessica
3 years ago

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