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3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

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Easy. Buttery. Shortbread Cookies. Yes!

Just 3 ingredients!

These melt-in-your-mouth Scottish-inspired shortbread cookies are simple to make. Just 3 ingredients and they come out so light and buttery!

Can I make these thick like traditional Scottish shortbread cookies?

Yes. You can roll these babies as thick or as thin as you’d like. Just just keep in mind, cook time may vary.

You may need to bake them at a lower temperate and for longer if you roll them very thick. 325˚is a safe bet. Just keep an eye on them and snatch them out of the oven as soon as they look completely firm.

You can also cut these shortbread cookies out in any shape. You can use a cookie cutter or cut them with a knife. Your choice! I don’t believe in rules when it comes to things like this. 🙂

You can see I have made them as squares and also as wreaths varying the shape, the thickness and the decorating style yet still using this same recipe.

Can you decorate these shortbread cookies?

Sure! Have fun with it and put your own twist on it. You can decorate with sprinkles or go more tradition and poke holes to decorate. Try dipping in chocolate, These are a must for your Christmas baking list!

First time making shortbread cookies?

Have you ever wondered why there’s no ready-made shortbread cookie mix? Or am I the only one who’s that simple? Gah! Well, my friends. These buttery shortbread cookies are so easy to make, there are no shortcuts needed. It’s literally three ingredients. Likely ones you have on hand. So these are the perfect thing for those days where you just want to put on your fuzzy socks and not leave the house the whole day.

Finding an easy shortbread cookie recipe.

So, never having make these before (obviously), I looked at a few different recipes for shortbread cookies. I know, it seems silly considering they’re so simple but there were a few different types. Some claimed Scottish shortbread cookies are made with brown sugar and others called for vanilla extract.

Now, I’m not necessarily a purest at heart but I do like to keep things as simple as possible. So I sided with the folks who were commenting that true shortbread cookies do not use vanilla. And I like the idea of brown sugar and might try that, but felt like the shortbread cookies I’d had before and loved always tasted like they used regular sugar.

So once I narrowed it down to 3 ingredients it was very easy to get the dough made. The trickiest part was getting the shape right. I wanted a nice flat top and liked the look of the cookies I had seen with dotted indentations.

So I ultimately decided to roll these out and used a square cookie cutter with a wavy edge. I used a kabob skewer to poke holes matching the scalloped edge of the cookie cutter. They have a traditional vibe but I felt like I put my own little spin on them and that was fun. 🙂 I think you could do all different shapes and really have some fun with the dots.

You could try putting initials in the middle or even try a cookie stamp. Get creative! I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. Just do your thang! Baking is supposed to be therapy, right?

Try these at your own holiday baking party.

Speaking of baking, I’m thinking about making these for our annual Christmas cookie baking party. I love how simple yet delicious they are. So I’m thinking I’ll do half the batch plain and then dip the other half in melted chocolate. Mmmm!! Or maybe do some kind of design in chocolate? I don’t know yet but I’m definitely liking the idea of adding chocolate to these.

Special tools you’ll need:

Here’s the type of cookie cutter I used — square with scalloped edges.

Square Cookie Cutter with Scalloped Edges

Also, if you don’t own one already, I highly recommend purchasing a thin, flexible metal spatula.

Thin Flexible Metal Spatula

The Mr. turned me on to this handy piece of kitchenware. They’re very useful for lifting sticky, delicate things (like these cookies!) without smashing them or breaking them.

Feeling the holiday spirit? Try making my easy yule log cake too, browse my other Christmas cookie recipes and see all my holiday recipes.

These 3-ingredient easy buttery shortbread cookies were featured on Make Life Pretty, Menu Plan Monday, Big Green House! and South Your Mouth!


Easy Buttery Shortbread Cookies

Easy Buttery Shortbread Cookies

3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

5 from 3 reviews
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Course: Desserts, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Skill Level: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 24 Servings
Yield: 2 dozen


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter softened


  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour and sugar.
  • Add softened butter to dry ingredients and mix together using a fork until crumbly dough forms.
  • Grab a ball of dough and roll into a ball. Place dough ball onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin.
  • When dough is about 1/4" thick, cut out your cookies using a flour-coated cookie cutter.
  • Lift cookies using a thin metal spatula and place onto a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350˚ for about 8-9 minutes or until the edges show hints of golden brown. If you prefer thicker cookies, just don't roll them out as much and bake a bit longer. You may also want to drop the temp down to 325˚.

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