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Whipped Shortbread

These whipped shortbread Christmas cookies melt in your mouth. Mostly I make them for the holidays, but I'll also prepare them year-round for wedding showers and afternoon teas. —Jane Ficiur, Bow Island, Alberta
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. Bake: 20 min./batch
  • Makes
    18 dozen


  • 3 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups cornstarch
  • Nonpareils and/or halved candied cherries


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add flour and cornstarch, beating until well blended.
  • With hands lightly dusted with additional cornstarch, roll dough into 1-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press lightly with a floured fork. Top with nonpareils or cherry halves.
  • Bake at 300° until bottoms are lightly browned, 20-22 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Cornstarch in cookies? Its inclusion lends these shortbread cookies a lovely tenderness. Unlike chewy sugar cookies, shortbread cookies are tender and crumbly. Check all of our favorite vintage shortbread cookies.
  • To bump up the flavor, use salted butter and try adding a teaspoon of extract. We like vanilla and almond.
  • These delicious, buttery cookies are just asking for elegant add-ins such as lavender flowers or lemon zest and thyme.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cookie: 39 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 20mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.
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    Average Rating:
    • Gaily
      Sep 2, 2020

      Amazing. I took the advice of one reviewer and decreased the corn starch to one cup and increased the sugar to two cups. These cookies are so delicious and pillowy

    • lvarner
      Jul 2, 2020

      These are very simple but oh so tasty! I love that they call for just a few ingredients. I was concerned about the low oven temperature, but in the end it worked just fine. These cookies are great to make for any holiday or season, since the toppings can be changed and adjusted accordingly. Once when I made these, I added 1 tsp. of almond extract for flavor variety and they turned out quite well.

    • Faaterehau
      Apr 20, 2020

      I offered those to a friend and she has asked me to bake her some more. I add some almond extract to the recipe for a different flavor! Love love them!!! They are tasty and so easy to make!!! Thank you for the recipe!!

    • crystal92780
      Mar 1, 2020

      This is my second time making these, they are fantastic. I made them for Christmas and my family loved them. The first time I made them, I added some vanilla extract. This time I added some anise and they taste amazing.

    • sgronholz
      Jan 13, 2020

      These little shortbread cookies are so good...they really do melt in your mouth! I added a little vanilla and almond extract and sprinkled them with colored sugar instead of nonpareils. For best results, make sure your butter is VERY soft and cream the butter and powdered sugar for the full 5 minutes, as stated in the recipe. (And yes...the recipe really does make 16 dozen!)

    • ebramkamp
      Dec 30, 2019

      We love these. You really have to whip the cookie dough. I whip it for 5 minutes as the recipe calls for and an additional 4 to 4 minutes when adding the remaining ingredients. i also like to pipe mine and dot with half a maraschino cherry or drizzle with melted semi sweet chocolate.

    • onebubby
      Dec 28, 2019

      I made these cookies but I halved the recipe. There was no dough to be had. Added more butter but that didn't do it either. I was able to make some sort of ball (falling apart) and bake. The cookie taste reminded me of a cookie my grandma used to make. The taste isn't bad but I guess the recipe isn't meant to be cut in half. I was very disappointed. I will give it another try, only I'll make the entire recipe as written.

    • suzanne_hammer
      Dec 26, 2019

      I was very disappointed I made them exactly as stated in the recipe and they were very dry--I really think that you need to add the vanilla or Almond and less cornstarch.

    • DonnaDomestic
      Dec 26, 2019

      Great cookie! I use extra powdered sugar to dip the fork into instead of flour.

    • Taunya
      Dec 18, 2019

      I bake all the time and shortbread can be tricky. The foundation of this recipe is awesome! I did change a couple of things to add some flavor...I increased the powdered sugar to 2 cups, decreased the cornstarch to 1 cup, added 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp vanilla paste and 2 tsp vanilla powder along with 1 tsp salt. If you dint have vanilla paste or the powder just increase the vanilla to 2tsp. I put the dough in a 2gallon zip lock bag and rolled it to about an inch and chilled it overnight. I wanted to use these cookie. for Christmas, I pulled the dough out in the am, let it sit out for 1in and cut the dough with cookie cutters, topped the cookies with sprinkles, placed the cookies on cookie sheets and filled them again for an hour. Chilling shaped dough. Helps keep the form when baking. I baked these for 15 min and they literally melted in our mouths! My kids are in cookie heaven!