Jingle Jangle Shortbread

I enjoy baking, but I rarely make the time for it. Except at Christmas. I still don’t do a lot of baking, but I always make at least a few yummy goodies to have on hand. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without cookies.

Growing up, we would go to my grandparents house for Christmas every year. I have so many wonderful memories of playing games with my cousins, singing carols, playing Skipbo (once I was old enough to join the adult card table – BIG moment in my life – ha!), and finding the delicious treats Grandmother had strategically placed around the house. My favorite was the shortbread hidden under a covered pink glass dish in the living room. It was such a simple cookie. Dry yet sweet. No special flavoring. A simple sheet cut into rectangle fingers. I loved it!

Strangely enough, I never tried baking it myself until about 5 years ago. Now it is a Christmas staple. The perfect cookie to have with hot tea while curling up with a fun Christmas read.

Shortbread Christmas Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat over to 350. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter and sugar. Add vanilla. In a medium bow, sift together flour and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined. Form dough in your hands and mold into 2 flat disks. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Karen’s tip: Instead of rolling dough out on a floured surface to cut into shapes, since this dough is already dry, it is much better (and easier) to roll the dough onto a piece of wax paper. Lay a piece the plastic wrap you covered the dough in earlier over the top and roll dough between the plastic wrap and wax paper. No additional flour is needed. I do dip my cookie cutters in flour, however, before cutting the dough to prevent sticking.

This year I decided to cut my cookies into cute mini Christmas shapes. These are my guilt-free cookie bites. And they are just adorable!

I sent a batch to my publishing house as a thank you to my publishing team, and I saved a selection in my secret kitchen stash.

If you make these mini cookies, reduce baking time to 15 minutes.


I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! May you have lots of yummy goodies to enjoy along with great Christmas stories to read.

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

37 thoughts on “Jingle Jangle Shortbread”

  1. These sound wonderful, easy and simple. Thanks for sharing Karen. I’m going to do these this weekend.
    Happy Holidays.

  2. Merry Christmas Karen. There’s a place along the shore of Lake Superior that bakes date bars. Every time we go camping at Two Harbors, we sneak down to Louise’s Place to buy date bars. I ventured yesterday to make my own date bars. Oh for yum! Guess what I’m having with my coffee this morning? Truly, it’s the little things in life that bring such joy. Enjoy your mini cookies and have a blessed Christmas season.

    • Those sounds scrumptious, Kathy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a date bar, but I love fruit and cookie/cake together, so I bet I would love them. And you are so right about the little things in life. Having these shortbread cookies with a cup of tea just makes me happy.

  3. Merry Christmas Karen. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I love learning what brings joy into others lives. These look like they will be fun to make for Christmas time.

  4. Thank you for sharing your cookie recipe, they sound delicious and easy to make. Have a Very Merry Christmas! God Bless you and your Family.

  5. What wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing. We played SkipBo with my DH’s parents for years. Loved it and our girls learned to play, as you said, when they were old enough! So much fun. I was just reading your recipe for cookies to my daughter and she finished it for me! She makes them and we are waiting for her sister to get here, so they can bake cookies! What a great blog. Happy Holidays! Hugs, Phyliss

  6. The cookies sound great! I made sugar cookies yesterday, after making chocolate-covered peanut butter balls the beginning of the month to give away!

    • Yum! I love chocolate and peanut butter. Classic! We have a peanut butter rice crispy recipe topped with chocolate that is a staple this time of year as well. I’ll be making that in the next few days.

  7. I have made shortbread several times, but not recently. I have several molds for shortbread including a teddy bear, little girl, little boy, and a wreath. They are rather big compared to the usual size you can buy. I like the idea of the little bites. They are perfect to nibble on while reading.

  8. Merry Christmas Karen. I will have to try your recipe sometime, my mother used to make a vanilla wafer cookie that were very good but I haven’t had one for many years now. They just wouldn’t be as good if I made them.

    • I know what you mean, Quilt lady. My grandma made these wonderful persimmon cookies that I loved as a kid. I’ve never seen them anywhere else. I found a recipe online a few years ago and gave it a try. It got close, but wasn’t exactly the same. Some things just can’t be duplicated.

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