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Get a printer friendly version the recipe for Shortbread Cookies HERE.

Hello friends and foodies, and welcome to another episode of Taylor Thyme!

In this episode Taylor visits Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats in Lynchburg to share the secret to creating a beautiful (and delicious!) batch of shortbread cookies.

These crisp and crumbly cookies are the perfect treat to add a personal touch to any celebration, and are wonderfully festive when you use some fun cookie cutters and colorful icing. Shortbread cookies are an excellent recipe to try making with kids or new bakers, since they only require four ingredients. They also make beautiful toppers for cakes or cupcakes!

Some notes before we get started:

  • We used a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for this recipe, but mixing by hand will work just fine.
  • Baking is fun for folks of all ages, but children should always have adult supervision when in the kitchen.
  • You will need a rolling pin and piping bags for this recipe, but quart sized plastic bags can be used as well.


Grab your apron and let’s get started!

putting icing on shortbread cookies

Shortbread Cookies

You will need the following ingredients:


  • 2 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 4 cup flour 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Food coloring of your choice (optional)
  • 1/4“ x 12” Wooden dowel rods (optional)

Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp meringue powder
  • 8-10 Tbsp room temp water
  • Your choice of food coloring (optional)

Now let’s get baking!

Steps for shortbread:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut cold butter into cubes by cutting the stick in half and then into quarters.
  • Add cubed butter, sugar, and salt into mixing bowl and mix on low speed until just combined, about 10 minutes.
  • Separate dough into smaller, workable batches and combine with your hands until dough forms. Be careful not to overwork your dough to keep it cold!
    • If using food coloring, add 2-3 drops before working.
  • Cover your workspace with plastic wrap and place your dough in a mound in the center and cover with another layer of plastic wrap.
  • Roll out dough using a rolling pin until about 1/2 inch-1 inch thick. Repeat for each batch.
  • Cut out cookies using cookie cutters of your choice. Have fun experimenting with different sizes and shapes!
    • If using the cookies as cake toppers, insert wooden dowel through the edge of the cookie until halfway through.
  • Bake cookies for 20 minutes, and let cool fully before decorating.



Steps for Royal Icing:

  • Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl.
  • Add water to dry ingredients and mix with rubber spatula until icing forms.
  • Divide icing into smaller bowls. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring and a small amount of water, stirring until icing is colored evenly and is self-leveling.
  • Using a glass or cup to hold your piping bags, spoon in icing and twist bag closed. Use scissors to cut bag corner (smaller cuts allow less flow for more control).


Putting it all together:

  • Slowly pipe icing just inside the edge of each cookie, working your way toward the center until filled. Use a toothpick to cover small gaps. Use different colors to create different designs!
  • Let icing fully set before stacking and storing.


And just like that your cookies are done and ready for the party! These can be stacked for storage and transportation, and can also be frozen if you’re making them in advance. Let the celebration begin!


Get a printer friendly version the recipe for Shortbread Cookies HERE.