Whipped shortbread cookies are a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth holiday treat! This easy shortbread recipe comes together in just minutes.
What type of butter is best to use?
Use a high-quality butter with a high fat content like European-style butter. Regular unsalted butter works too but may not be quite as flavorful. Do not use margarine or vegetable oil spreads.
How long do baked whipped shortbread cookies last?
Properly stored in an airtight container at room temperature, they’ll last 5-7 days. For longer storage, freeze baked cookies up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Why do the cookies puff up and then flatten while baking?
This is normal! The cornstarch helps the cookies puff while baking, but they sink back down as they cool. Resist the urge to take them out early or else they’ll remain puffy.
Can I make modifications like adding citrus zest or spices?
Absolutely! The basic shortbread dough takes well to mix-ins like orange or lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc. Start with about 1 teaspoon of any dry spice or zest.
Why do fork marks disappear as they bake?
The marks from dipping the fork in powdered sugar will fade in the heat of the oven. If you want fork marks on the final baked cookie, use a fork dipped in granulated sugar before baking instead.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yield: 30 cookies
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar, plus additional for flattening
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (17g) cornstarch
- Nonpareils, jimmies or colored sanding sugar for decorating (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the vanilla extract, salt, and powdered sugar. Beat on high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cornstarch.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Scoop the dough into 1 tablespoon balls and roll briefly between your palms to smooth. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 1-2 inches (2.5-5cm) apart.
- Dip a fork in powdered sugar and gently press into each cookie to flatten slightly.
- Sprinkle cookies with nonpareils, jimmies or sanding sugar if desired.
- Bake for 12 minutes until lightly golden on the edges but still pale in color.
- Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before removing.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Enjoy these tender, melt-in-your-mouth whipped shortbread cookies! The hint of vanilla and light sweetness makes them perfect for holiday cookie trays or gifting. Let me know if you try this easy Christmas cookie recipe!
Tips for Perfect Whipped Shortbread
Looking for tips to ensure your whipped shortbread turns out perfect every time? Follow these suggestions:
- Use high quality butter with a high fat content, like European style butter. The higher fat content helps the cookies retain their melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Allow the butter to soften properly before creaming. Cold, firm butter won’t whip up properly. Let it sit out until just slightly softened but not melted.
- Cream the butter for the full time, at least 5 minutes. This helps incorporate air into the dough which gives the cookies their signature light texture.
- Don’t overmix once the flour is added. Brief mixing just until combined keeps the dough from getting too warm.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes before scooping if it feels too soft or sticky while portioning. This firms it up for easier handling.
- Flatten gently with a fork dipped in powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Pressing too hard makes them dense.
- Bake until just barely starting to brown on the edges. Oven temps can vary, so keep an eye on them.
- Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking sheet. Hot shortbread is delicate and may break.
With these simple tips, you’ll be whipping up perfect whipped shortbread every holiday season. Let me know if you have any other tricks for keeping these melt-in-your-mouth treats just right. Enjoy!