This recipe for Vanilla Shortbread Cookies makes a sweet, buttery, piped Spritz cookie with beautifully crisp edges that can’t be beaten.
Do you remember those blue tins filled with buttery, sweet cookies that would pop up in stores around the holidays? My grandmother would always buy them, and have them out for us when we visited.
I LOVED those cookies. These cookies are reminiscent of those blue tinned cookies we’d have every Christmas and I hope they become a tradition for you.
Why This Recipe Works
- The dough is easily made using just six simple ingredients.
- The softened butter and the addition of cornstarch give these cookies a light, buttery crispness.
- The piped dough makes these cookies as beautiful as they are delicious.
Homemade cookies are perfect to give as edible gifts! I make my own tins to give as gifts every year with these cookies, my Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, and my Classic Peanut Butter Cookies. They’re always a big hit!
Butter Is the Key
The key to this recipe is good quality butter. If you can find it, try to find European Style butter. It has a higher milk fat content than ordinary butter.
The essence of these cookies is the crisp, buttery indulgence that comes from the sweet cream flavor you get with good quality butter.
Make sure the butter is softened before starting. Softened butter will ensure the buttercreams well with the sugar.
Alternatives to Piping
If you don’t have the piping bag, you can also use a cookie press instead.
This dough can also easily be refrigerated and rolled to make cut out cookies. Just refrigerate the dough overnight and roll it out.
How to make Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
Add the butter and sugar together in a bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter.
Mix until blended and soft.
Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 2D piping tip.
For the piped cookies, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. To keep the paper from shifting. Put a bit of the dough under the paper in all four corners of the cookie sheet and press it down flat.
Pipe the cookies onto the cookie sheet (For a Thicker Cookie that will hold its shape more than mine did, chill the unbaked cookies for 20 minutes before baking).
Bake for 20 minutes. Let them cool completely (on the tray is fine) before serving.
Other Cookie Recipes You’ll Love
Can shortbread cookies be frozen? Yes, shortbread cookies freeze beautifully. Place in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months.
Can shortbread cookies be made ahead? Yes, shortbread cookies actually taste best cooled. Let them cool for a couple of hours before storing.
How do you store shortbread cookies? Let the cookies cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
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- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 325F/165C and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt and add it to the butter, mixing until blended and soft.
- Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 2D piping tip. Pipe the cookies about 1 1/4 inches across onto the prepared cookie sheets leaving about 2 inches between them.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies just begin to brown lightly on the edges. Cool the cookies on the trays before storing in an airtight container.
- The cookies will keep up to a week.
Alternatives to PipingIf you don't have the piping bag, you can also use a cookie press instead. This dough can also easily be refrigerated and rolled to make cut out cookies. Just refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes and roll it out.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Oct 22, 2014, but was updated with step by step instructions, new photos, tips, and FAQs Oct of 2018