Christmas Shortbread Cookies

I love making Christmas Shortbread, more so for the fun part than anything else. So whats the fun part in these? You probably may recall my story about 2 little guests of mine in the Gingersnap post. They were here again and this time, they partook not only the end result but also had a huge "hand" when it came to decorating these shortbread. I cut them out into christmas'sy shapes and they had fun decorating them.

I have taken the basic shortbread recipe and added ground nuts to them to make it more yummy than they really are. Anything with butter, flour and sugar cannot go wrong at all and with addition of almonds, it only took the flavor to new heights.These are good as they are, but if you want to have some fun, decorate them with icing sugar, colored sugar, edible silver balls etc. What more, if you have kids around, ask them to help.Its even more fun that way. Make sure you have more icing that time, since much of it will be inevitably "disappear" or "dissolve in thin air" ;-)

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Makes 10-15 cookies, depending on the size of the cookie cutter
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar to decorate
1. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until creamy and blended.
2. Sift the flour and salt together.
3. Now add the flour slowly to the sugar-butter mixture and blend lightly along with almond powder.
4. Take care not to over mix it. Bring it together to form a dough and refrigerate for 15 min.
5. Then on a lightly floured surface, roll it out
6. and cut shapes of your choice.
7. Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake them in a preheated 350 F oven for 15-20 min until they start browning slightly. They should almost be the same color as you started out with.
8. Cool them and decorate them with icing sugar. These can be packed in cellophane and tied with ribbons and given as a gift too :)

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By aarti salil sawale on May 20, 2020

Hello if I have to bake this in microwave what will be the time limit

I dont bake in my oven and hence I am sorry to be of no help. Also, I hear that it differs from brand to brand so you might have to test it out yourself. My suggestion would be to start conservatively and increase as needed. --DK

By Nancy Floyd on Aug 8, 2015

Do you have to add the ground almonds? My grandson has egg,all nuts, coconut allergies. I am always looking for dessert recipes to try for him.

By Katrina on Feb 23, 2014

I have made this recipe a few times now. I make it with rice flour instead of ground almonds. I also usually add extra butter, some cocoa and choc chips - white and milk chocolate. I make them quite thick so they have a little crunch then soft in the middle. I'm not very good at sticking to the recipe without tweaking it a little. Thankyou for sharing your recipe with us.

By ramya on Jan 24, 2014

I tried making such kinds but they ended up spreading and not retaining shape what could have gone wrong the mixing or the proportions pl guide

By eses on Dec 16, 2013

I need to know it shortening can be a substitute of butter in this cookies recipe or oil better ..and how much ?

By tina on Jun 7, 2013

Hi, just planning to try them, one question pls....after cutting them into shapes, where should I place the cake baking that fine ?? Pls clarify as I never ever baked anything in my life and have only a cake baking dish at present. What else should I buy ??

Yes, you can. You can place it in anything that you use for baking. A cookie sheet is a flat, rectangular pan. See image: --DK

By Di on Dec 23, 2010

These cookies certainly look beautiful, my question is this - do these cookies come out crispy/crunchy or are they soft to bite into? I want to do christmas cut outs but find sugar cookies are far too sweet and quite often shortbread recipes are too hard - help please! Many thanks!

By Niv on Dec 19, 2010

I made these cookies and it came out delicious even with gluten free flour. Also I accidentally added only 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) and no issues - still tastes good. Thanks again for the wonderful and easy recipe. Trying the sheperd pie now.

By Niv on Dec 17, 2010

I made these today and they came out really good. I replaced the AP flour with Gluten free AP flour and it still came out yum. Thank you a wonderful and easy recipe.

By Pearly on Dec 7, 2009

Hi DK, how long can i store the shortbread in air tight jar?

I had stored them without icing them for about a week in an air tight jar. Haven't had them for more than that, hence am not too sure about it. Also,I don't know if they will be good if stored with icing... --DK

By DK on Jan 26, 2009

Lakshmi thats a bunch for the feedback..and I am so glad that your daughter likes it..Its the kids that make us take such efforts. the smile of theirs make it worth it :)Well as for the dough being v loose - the only rmedy I can think of is to refrigerate more. Most often, any butter and flour mixture to come into humogeneous mass needs to be refrigerated..more time the better the consistancy to be rolled. Next time try it chilling it more. The temperature in your area could also be a cause.

By Anonymous on Jan 26, 2009

DK, sorry it to took me so long to write back how the cookies turned out for me. Actually I didnt want to comment back yet until I try out the next batch. I blew it the first time...your recipe was perfect and nothing could go wrong. After the mixing, the dough was very loose..instead of adding more butter, I added more flour. dont know what I was thinking! Anyways, took a long time to get it straight. But the end result was still superb...very tasty. I didnt get perfect shapes likes yours, but my daughter definitely liked it. Thx again for the recipe.
- Lakshmi

By Fearless Kitchen on Dec 22, 2008

These look great. Adding almonds to anything makes it better :) Decorating cookies with my mom is one of my favorite childhood Christmas memories.

By Anonymous on Dec 22, 2008

DK, Thanks for your quick reply. That helps a lot. I will let you know how they turned out.
- Lakshmi

By DK on Dec 18, 2008

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Lakshmi - It easily makes 15-20 but then it mostly depends on the size of the cookie cutter and how much you roll the dough. The thicker the dough and bigger cutter you use, less the no. of cookies. For me, I used about 6 types of cookie cutters few of them were pretty big and in totality I got about 12 cookies. If you use something like that "star" i used you would end up with say 20-25 cookies :)

Hope you have lots of fun! It really is :)

By Anonymous on Dec 18, 2008

Hi DK, I loved your recipe and I will try this over the weekend for my kid's chrustmas party treats. With the ingredients you have mentioned, how many cookies does it make?

- Lakshmi

By Curry Leaf on Dec 18, 2008

Lovely and perfect DK,I am yet to use the cookie cutters.
Too nice of you (patient as well) to work with kids.I am stumped

By Susan from Food Blogga on Dec 18, 2008

Adding chopped nuts to the dough is such a delicious idea. And icing them really is the best part.

By Happy cook on Dec 18, 2008

The looks so bautiful and yummy.

By Priya on Dec 18, 2008

Cute shortbreads..looks really gorgeous..

By Alka on Dec 18, 2008

There are cookies all around and i wish i had listened to my hubby and got an otg or MW ,but alas i turned up his OFFER and opted for sumthng ridiculous...booo hooo hoooo...sob sob sob...i never knew looking at home baked cookies on so many blogs wud make me sulk for my inapt decision
I just loveeeeeeeed those cute cookies and icing is well ICING ON CAKE as they say :-)

By Arundathi on Dec 17, 2008

i'm having 5 kids over for a playdate this weekend - this is a perfect activity - thanks.

By Soma on Dec 17, 2008

They are so cute! I had lot of fun with my kids this time decorating cookies. The first set I got to take pictures & post, the 2nd set was a tedious 90 cookies which took hrs of decoration & they were sent to school and all gone..

By Gita's Kitchen on Dec 17, 2008

The cookies look absolutely yummy, love the icing. Its a good idea of add almonds in short bread cookies....

By Gita's Kitchen on Dec 17, 2008

The cookies look absolutely yummy, love the icing. Its a good idea of add almonds in short bread cookies....

By karuna on Dec 17, 2008

the cookies look yummy.I like shortbread cookies plain, without frosting. urs look really cute with all the fun sahpes and decorations.

By Kalai on Dec 17, 2008

Such adorable cookies, Dhivi! Stuff like this brings out the kid in all of us, doesn't it? :)

By Madhuram on Dec 17, 2008

Cute looking cookies DK. I bought a set of cookie cutters long time back but so far did not make any cookies out of them. Instead I'm using it for making pooris and chapathis for my son.