3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

All I had the energy to do on Friday was bake a batch of this shortbread. It was definitely a sick day! I cuddled up with a cookie and a cup of pumpkin spice tea, grabbed a big blanket and my favorite chick flick. Along with a handful of cold medicine, it put me right back on track for the weekend… Until we decided it would be a lazy, minimally productive one, starting Saturday with a big feast of a brunch and a boat ride through Austin. No complaints here!

To feel like I was getting at least one thing done, though, I checked this wonderful buttery, crumbly shortbread off my list… and I’m glad I did! It was so simple to make. I’m not usually a girl for roll-out cookies, either. They always turn awry – the dough is too soft, the end result is too floury and dense. Just, no good. But these! Oh, people.

Three ingredients: Butter, sugar, flour (What’s better in this world anyway?), and 10 whoppin’ minutes. Roll ‘em out, cut ‘em up and you have Christmas cookie perfection ready to slide alongside a mug of hot tea.

I know you have the ingredients (I’m psychic like that) and I knoowwww you have 10 minutes, so why not whip these up? A ball of dough gets ya roughly 15 cookies, so keep some for your morning cup and toss the rest over to your cookie lovin’ friends. They’ll pay you in smiles, I promise.

Bake up these crisp, buttery rounds of love and I bet you’ll see why it’s become my new go-to for a basic shortbread. You can also use this as the base for any recipe that calls for shortbread. I recommend rolling them out with powdered sugar, though, since additional flour can make them too dense… and I have experience with dense cookies!

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3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Yield: Makes approx. 15 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and continue to mix until mixture forms a soft dough (it will be crumbly at first, but keep mixing and it will form a dough). Form dough into a cohesive ball with your hands.

Roll dough 1/4-inch thick on a surface dusted with flour or powdered sugar* with a well-dusted rolling pin. Cut into rounds and place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat as necessary.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until cookies are pale golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets.

Enjoy!

TIPS

You can use either flour or powdered sugar to roll out your cookies, but I prefer powdered sugar. Since you’re re-rolling the dough repeatedly, powdered sugar keeps the cookies from becoming too dense/floury.

Remember to keep your surface and rolling pin well-dusted with flour/powdered sugar. Using powdered sugar, you may need to dust your surface and rolling pin more often.

Do not use the parchment paper with foil lining underneath; This paper tends to curl up and over your cookies as they’re baking.

Store baked cookies in a re-sealable container or plastic bag at room temperature, up to 4 days.

Serve with tea or coffee, or use as a base for any recipe requiring shortbread.

Adapted from Dine & Dish

      

68 Responses to “3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies”

  1. #
    1
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — November 4, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    Glad you’re feeling better! And so glad you whipped these up – I love that they’re only 3 ingredients!

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    Carolyn — November 4, 2013 @ 6:13 am

    Butter, sugar, flour…the holy trinity of baking! They look wonderful and if that’s all you had energy for, I’d say you did well.

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    Sandra Garth — November 4, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    These would make me feel better also. I’m looking forward to crossing these off my baking list!

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    Kelly — November 4, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    Love simple shortbread cookies and these look so pretty and puffy! Hope you’re feel better Georgia :)

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    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — November 4, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    I’m making these tomorrow. Maybe I’ll put in some edible lavender. :)

  6. #
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    Karly — November 4, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    Sorry you weren’t feeling so good, but yay for shortbread! It’s one of my favorite things to make…I’m always shocked by how good those three little ingredients are when baked together!

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    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — November 4, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    You rule. 3 ingredients and they’re that fluffy? I can’t wait to eat more than my share. :)

  8. #
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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 4, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    3 ingredient?! I’m in!!

  9. #
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    Angie@Angie's Recipes — November 4, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    They look fantastic!

  10. #
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    Eileen — November 4, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Simple and delicious – I’m in!

  11. #
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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 4, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    Gorgeous! Love them–they look so fat and buttery! Glad you’re feeling better. Chick flicks, blankets, and snuggling up in bed is the best way to beat a cold, hands down.

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    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs — November 4, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    I hope you’re feeling better now! Anyway, your Sunday sounds perfect to me: chicik flicks, tea, cookies and blankets… HEAVEN. It’s such a pity that you were feeling a bit under teh weather though!
    And these cookies look heavenly OH MY. And easy, I love easy cookies. I’m going to bake them for my father’s birthday this week. He loves shortbread!
    Thanks for the recipe and have a great week :D

  13. #
    13
    The Café Sucre Farine — November 4, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    These look like they would cure just about anything that ails a soul. Yum! Hope you’re feeling MUCH better Georgia!

  14. #
    14
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — November 4, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    I hope you’re feeling better! These cookies look incredible! Love how easy they are to make!

  15. #
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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — November 4, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    I’m game for 3 ingredient shortbread cookies. Yum!

  16. #
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    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — November 4, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    Oooh these look perfect! You knowww I got time for them!

  17. #
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    ashley - baker by nature — November 4, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    These remind me of my moms sugar cookies! Simple perfection :)

  18. #
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    Jennifer G — November 4, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    These look wonderful! I am adding them to my Christmas baking list now. Since I really only do baking around the holidays, I like to try new things each year. I just have a couple of questions though due to less experience. Do you use regular butter or the unsalted butter that a lot of recipes call for? Also, could these hold up with shaped cookie cutters (w/ the holidays) and can I decorate them or are they to delicate. Thank you!

    • Georgia — November 4th, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

      Hi Jennifer – Either unsalted or salted butter is fine. I used unsalted for these. And yes, you can use any cookie cutters and decorate as you wish. This dough is very easy to work with!

  19. #
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    Megan {Country Cleaver} — November 4, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    It seriously doesn’t get any better than that!! Shortbreads are one of my all time favorite cookies! I juts made some last week, but yours with just three ingredients? Timesaver!!

  20. #
    20
    JulieD — November 4, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    I have been eyeing this recipe ever since Kristen posted them!! Yours look so good! Hope you’re feeling better!

  21. #
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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — November 4, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Gorgeous shortbread cookies, Georgia! I would never guess you weren’t a rolled cookie kinda baker! Lovely photography as always, my friend. I hope you’re feeling much better after your sick day and a nice weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  22. #
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    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — November 4, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    Shortbread is generally not my thing but THIS just looks SO incredible and delicious and buttery and mmmm!

  23. #
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    Ash-foodfashionparty — November 4, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

    Oh, man, I have everything and I love butter cookies, tempted to whip up a batch. Looks really good.
    Hope you are feeling better now.

  24. #
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    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — November 4, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

    They look perfect and sound like an old Scottish recipe we used to use back home, 3 ingredients can’t get much easier :)

  25. #
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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — November 4, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    A classic favorite of mine! I love shortbread cookies, especially around the holidays. What a fabulous, simple recipe for them! I can see myself adding sprinkles. Naturally.

    Sorry you weren’t feeling so good last week! I felt sick on Friday too. And was so lazy, I loved every minute of it. :)

  26. #
    26
    Gaby — November 4, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    Shortbread is simply the best! I should make it way more often than I do.

  27. #
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    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet — November 4, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    Shortbread cookies are fantastic! Love how this is only three ingredients. I definitely do not need to run to the grocery store for this one!

  28. #
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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 5, 2013 @ 12:22 am

    Only 3 ingredients and less than 20 minutes?! I am sold! Hope you are feeling better!

  29. #
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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 5, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    Feel better! Now these cookies – perfection! They would go so perfectly with my morning cup of coffee!

  30. #
    30
    Muna Kenny — November 5, 2013 @ 5:17 am

    I love shortbread cookies, they are almost always perfect. Your pics made them look extra yummy :)

  31. #
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    Joanne — November 5, 2013 @ 5:51 am

    Awww I hope you’re feeling better chica!! And I’m glad you took the weekend to relax!! Sounds totally necessary!

    These cookies would be perfect to snack on while sick! Love how easy they are to throw together!

  32. #
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    Jamie@Milk 'n' Cookies — November 5, 2013 @ 5:55 am

    If I could live on these three ingredients, I totally would. These shortbread cookies look simple, and simply amazing. Can’t wait to try them. And I hop you feel better soon!

  33. #
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    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — November 5, 2013 @ 6:36 am

    These make me think of Girl Scout cookies! The shortbread are always the best when you dunk them in tea or coffee. I’m super excited about this recipe!

  34. #
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    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — November 5, 2013 @ 11:33 am

    Three ingredient cookies sound like a god send! Glad your feeling better.

  35. #
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    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — November 5, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

    3 ingredients, 10 minutes desserts are THE BEST. Great idea. I’m thinking these would be great as sandwich cookies too…

  36. #
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    Bill — November 5, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

    Hey Georgia, I can’t believe how easy these shortbread cookies are. It’s always so great to have something so delicious but so easy and quick. I’m sorry you were not feeling well, but I’m awfully glad you posted this recipe! Awesome photos too!

  37. #
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    DessertForTwo — November 5, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

    These look so perfect and fluffy! Love it!

  38. #
    38
    Jaclyn — November 5, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    Three ingredients, oh yes! Love these kind of recipes!

  39. #
    39
    Kitchen Belleicious — November 5, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    hey now! I am all for quick cookies but 3 ingredients makes me feel giddy inside and makes me want to DASH to the kitchen and get started

  40. #
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    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — November 5, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

    shortbread cookies are so classic and lovely! hope you’re feeling better :)

  41. #
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    Carla | Carla's Confections — November 6, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    How fun are these cookies! And I love that they are just 3 ingredients!!!

  42. #
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    Dina — November 6, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

    those are the only 3 ingredients you need! yum!

  43. #
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    Ramona — November 7, 2013 @ 5:51 am

    Now this is an easy recipe… and for such lovely thick cookies. :) I am definitely trying these out. :)

  44. #
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    Erin | The Emerging Foodie — November 7, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    Wow! 3 ingredients can’t be beat, especially when it turns out as delicious looking as this! And pumpkin spice tea?! What brand is that? I think I need some! :)

    • Georgia — November 7th, 2013 @ 8:49 am

      My pumpkin spice tea was a gift from World Market – so delicious, and I think it’s still there now!

  45. #
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    Mr. & Mrs. P — November 7, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

    These sound so buttery and delicious!!! Pinned them!

  46. #
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    marcie — November 8, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    You just can’t beat a great shortbread cookie, and these look phenomenal, Georgia! I can’t wait to get to Christmas baking…shortbread is perfect.

  47. #
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    Prachi — November 9, 2013 @ 3:55 am

    Hey Georgia!!
    This is the most simple and easy yet yummy recipe. I loved 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookie. This goes wonderful with my morning coffee.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  48. #
    48
    Pepper — November 10, 2013 @ 12:51 am

    Hi from Ireland! Was wondering how much a stick of butter is plz if you could tell me? We use grams and kilograms here. Thanks!

    • Georgia — November 10th, 2013 @ 9:38 am

      One stick of butter is 1/2 cup, or 113 grams.

  49. #
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    Sandie@afoodieaffair.com — November 19, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    Georgia! Delicious as always! Can’t wait to make these!

  50. #
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    Birthday Cookie Cutters — November 19, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    I’ve learned something new today about shortbread cookies! So thanks for that. Your cookies are so lovely. Delicious!

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    Hilary — December 9, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    Would these be even more Christmassy with some spice in? I might try a teaspoon of mixed spice which would give a warming flavour, I think.

    • Georgia — December 9th, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

      Sure, give it a try!

  52. #
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    Kat — December 21, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Hello I was just wondering if it’s possible to replace butter with margarine for this recipe?

    • Georgia — December 21st, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

      I’ve never used margarine, but it would probably work fine.

  53. #
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    Elizabeth Pratt — December 22, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    This is very similar to my Great Grandma’s recipe, and it was her mothers recipe that they brought over from Scotland. The only difference is they used 2 cups of regular sugar, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Then pressed into a round cake pan, poked with a fork and baked. I wanted to try your recipe because I like the idea of shaping and baking. I am even thinking of dipping the ends in chocolate.

    By the way… I was told to only use real butter, never substitute.

  54. #
    54
    Emily McLennon — December 24, 2013 @ 11:52 am

    I don’t own parchment paper so would greasing the pan with either oil or butter yeild the same kinda results as they would I had parchment paper?

    • Georgia — December 24th, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

      I’d recommend getting parchment paper. Using greased foil, the cookies may brown too quickly.

  55. #
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    Vicki — January 4, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    Made these for a late holiday present. I cannot believe how perfectly light and melt-in-your-mouth this dough is. I added almond flavoring because I like my shortbread to have some almond flavor, but did everything else exactly to the recipe. They are DIVINE.

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    Annie — January 11, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    Hey Georgia, I love ur recipe! But I was wondering shouldn’t you put it in the fridge to chill before baking? I’ve learned that it spreads out and doesn’t rise if you don’t chill it. Yours comes out so perfect, though!

    • Georgia — January 11th, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

      Thanks, Annie! No, the dough does not need to chill before baking.

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    Rosalind — March 11, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    I have looked at so many shortbread recipes and finally found yours which I am going to use. Depending on what size cookie cutter you use, approximately how many cookies does this recipe make? I have to make about 90. Also can these cookies be frozen after baking?

    • Georgia — March 11th, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

      As the recipe states, it yields about 15 cookies. I haven’t tried freezing them after baking, but I’m sure they’d freeze just fine.

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    madhumitaa.r — March 15, 2014 @ 3:22 am

    its amazing for starters

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    Robin — March 18, 2014 @ 12:03 am

    well i was looking for easyyyyyyyyyyy shortbread cookies to make. Wow this really good too. we put jam on top of some the others were made a cookie cutter. will be making these my housewarming with dipped chaholate. mmmmmmmmmmmmm

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    Aleksandra — March 21, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    As soon as I saw that these were 3 ingredients I went straight to the kitchen (no lie!). I’m waiting for them to bake as we speak! I can already tell they will be good because I tried the cookie dough and it was delicious!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

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