Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies Recipe
Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies Recipe

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These buttery cookies get instant holiday flair thanks to delicate snowflake designs on top. To create them, see the Editor's Note at the end of the recipe. —Pattie Prescott, Manchester, New Hampshire
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 183 calories, 12g fat (7g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour. Press dough into an ungreased 9-in. square baking pan. Prick with a fork.
  2. Bake until light brown, 30-35 minutes. Cut into squares while warm. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 16 cookies.
Originally published as Shortbread Cookies in Taste of Home November 2011, p59

Reviews for Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

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GrammaUnicorn User ID: 8374045 258350
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2016

"My hubby only eats shortbread with cherries in it and this recipe works great. I just have one question.....where is the editors note?? I would love to know how to do the design."

mamaknowsbest User ID: 5826120 244110
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2016

"The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity! Not only easy to assemble but tastes outstanding. The small ingredient list means that the rich butter tastes shines! Have also scooped dough into cookies and baked 350 for 9min. Feel free to add anything to this basic shortbread. As a volunteer food editor with Taste of Home I enjoy classic recipes that allow for occasional modifications for a special touch!"

bugchicklv User ID: 8637064 238085
Reviewed Nov. 25, 2015

"Somehow I didn't notice that I was almost out of butter - only 1/2 cup! - but I did have Coconut Oil (which I just substituted 1 for 1). So, I used it at room temp, didn't soften the butter much (maybe 10 min on counter) then used the hand mixer to cream it all together (adding vanilla at the end as some have mentioned). Sifted the flour into the bowl as I continued to blend but by the last 1/3 I had to do it by hand (literally, using my hands) as I don't have a stand mixer. Anyway, after it all came together I scooped out 36 onto the cookie sheets, flattened a LITTLE using my thumb to create an indent (to put melted caramel or chocolate once they were done) and put them in the freezer for 5 minutes. Cooked them at 300F for around 22 minutes (I like all my cookies slightly under-done). Needless to say, I have to go shopping today to get more of everything because the entire batch lasted only 2 1/2 days! Only wish I could post a picture so you could see how well they turned out!"

Debgascoyne User ID: 7557819 217496
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2015

"My husband's mom would make shortbread cookies at Christmas time every year when he was young. He asked me to make some so I used this recipe . He was so delighted! The cookies tasted just like the ones his mom made. Thank you for sharing a terrific recipe and giving my husband a little bit of Christmas from his younger days !!!!"

browns19fan User ID: 919833 183939
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2014

"I first made these cookies more than 50 years ago when I got the recipe from my friend's grandmother. These days I substitute solid shortening for half of the butter and add a bit of vanilla extract; the cookies hold together better and their flavor isn't compromised. I also use tiny cookie cutters, making these one-bite wonders."

Sunshyn1 User ID: 7771911 177819
Reviewed Apr. 20, 2014

"catlady 56, did you read the Editor's note?

Simple..just read! Great recipe!"

passionflower71 User ID: 5736947 192399
Reviewed Mar. 27, 2014

"I really liked this shortbread. I did add a touch of vanilla to the batch. It was quick and simple to make. I did find them a bit too thick, for my taste. Thanks for the recipe. My cup of tea and shortbread is waiting for me:)"

beefbabe User ID: 5851198 195172
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2013

"We love these cookies! My daughter and her cousins love to use food coloring pens to decorate these cookies. They are yummy and last well."

catlady56 User ID: 5144466 123514
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2011

"Why didn't you tell us how to make the design. That is the reason I looked at the recipe. There are lots of short bread recipes, you attracted me with the design then you say dust with powder sugar? Bait and switch."

kalmekc User ID: 4864477 183937
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2011

"what is that pretty blue design on the cookie and how to you do it?? thx, kc"

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