Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizble Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Whether you're gifting them or serving them at a holiday party, we'll help you fill your Christmas cookie tray with ease. We’ve formulated one easy shortbread dough to be the base for three different cookie flavors. Cranberry-Orange and Toffee-Chocolate Chip are enticing and holiday appropriate, while Smoked Cheddar-Jalapeño offers an unexpected savory bite. Whatever their favorite flavor — this sweet or savory shortbread cookie recipe promises something for everyone.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Base Shortbread Dough Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 lb. (6 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cranberry-Orange Shortbread Ingredients

  • 1 cup minced candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

Smoked Cheddar-Jalapeño Shortbread Ingredients

  • 1 cup smoked cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed)

Cook’s Notes: Wear gloves to deseed and chop jalapeños. Do not touch jalapeño seeds with your bare hands.

Base Dough Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of an electric standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy at medium-high speed. Scrape down the bowl and beat again briefly.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Add the flour and mix on low speed, just until combined (Image 1). The dough will be thick and unsticky (Image 2). Divide the dough into three equal portions (Image 3). Return one portion to the mixing bowl.

Chocolate-Toffee Shortbread

Add in the toffee bits, mini chocolate chips and vanilla (Image 1). Beat with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds or until the inclusions are well dispersed. Remove the dough to a work surface, scraping the bowl clean with a rubber spatula so that no bits of toffee or chocolate chips remain. Roll into a long baton approximately 3 inches wide. Place the dough baton on a large sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up (Image 2). Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill, 1 hour or until firm.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread

Place a second portion of dough into the bowl of the stand mixer (you don’t have to wash the bowl this time around). Add in the minced candied orange peel, cranberries and orange extract (Image 1). Beat with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds or until the inclusions are well dispersed. Remove the dough to a work surface. Roll into a long baton approximately 3 inches wide (Image 2). Place the dough baton on a large sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill, 1 hour or until firm.

Smoked Cheddar-Jalapeno Shortbread

Wash and wipe dry the mixer bowl and paddle attachment. Place the third portion of dough into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the smoked cheddar and chopped jalapeño. Beat with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds or until the inclusions are well dispersed. Remove the dough to a work surface. Roll into a long baton approximately 3 inches wide. Place the dough baton on a large sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill, 1 hour or until firm.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Slice Each Flavor and Bake

Remove each dough baton from the refrigerator and slice them into 1/4-inch-thick coins. Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake them for 17-20 minutes, or until golden around the edges and set in their centers. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, or until they are firm enough to move to wire racks. Cool completely.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Serve or Gift

This mix of sweet and savory shortbread make the perfect homemade gift for any cookie fan on your holiday gift list.

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