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

Easy 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:9 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 9 servings


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

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 323 calories, 20g fat (13g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour. Press dough into a greased 9-in. square baking pan.
  2. Bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into nine squares; dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 9 cookies.
Editor’s Note:We used craft store paper stencils for our snowflakes. To make the white cookie, just tap confectioners' sugar over the stencil through a fine-mesh sieve. To make blue snowflake, dip a small artist's brush in Luster Dust and paint in the stencil opening with a stippling motion.
Originally published as Shortbread Cookies in Taste of Home November 2011, p59

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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!"

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!"

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 !!!!"

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."

Reviewed Apr. 20, 2014

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

Simple..just read! Great recipe!"

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