These melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies sprinkled in icing sugar are sure to become a Christmas favorite. Find the recipe for this holiday classic along with 20+ other delicious Christmas cookies.
Christmas cookies are my weakness, especially shortbread. As a child, I remember these were always my favorite. Every year as we began to celebrate the holiday season I would look forward to the sweet, buttery taste of that first (but definitely not last!) shortbread cookie. And not much has changed, they are still my favorite Christmas cookie today.
So I always like to mark the beginning of the holiday season with a big batch of homemade shortbread cookies, and I love how it brings me back to my childhood and the magic of Christmas.
Today as I join my friend, Kristen of Ella Claire, along with 20+ of our friends, I thought it was fitting to share our all-time favorite holiday cookie recipe with you…melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies with icing sugar. And today’s post is so fun, it’s like one big cookie swap, so be sure you don’t miss all of the amazing recipes at the end of this post.
The shortbread recipe we are sharing today actually originates from Greece, where these cookies are called Kourambiethes (don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either). They are a little different because they don’t call for much icing sugar in the actual cookie, instead, they get their sweetness from the piles and piles of icing sugar sprinkled on top.
I can still remember the first time I bit into a sweet Kourambiethe…It was the first Christmas I spent with Nick, and his mom made a batch of Greek shortbread (along with so many other delicious Greek desserts, speaking of Greek desserts…have you tried our Pumpkin Pie Baklava?) and I swear it’s when I knew I was going to marry him. Joking, but seriously, they are that good!
And with only a few simple ingredients, they are so easy to make.
So, although we may be getting started a little early around here, I’m not complaining, because it means I get to savor these amazing shortbread even longer. But if you’re not quite ready to start your holiday baking, you can make a batch of these and pop them in the freezer. They will hold for months.
- 1lb unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tbsp icing sugar (powdered/confectioners sugar)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 3+ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups icing sugar for dusting (powdered/confectioners sugar)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a stand-up mixer, beat softened butter and 3 tbsp icing sugar for 5 minutes on high speed (we used the paddle/dough attachment).
- Mix in egg yolk.
- In a small dish, dissolve the baking powder into the vanilla extract. Pour into mixer.
- Add flour in 1/4 cup increments until you have added 3 cups. Test the consistency of the dough by rolling a small golf ball size piece in your hands to see if is still sticky. If it is, continue adding 1/4 cup increments of flour, testing the dough each time until the dough is not sticky anymore.
- Roll the dough into golf ball size pieces and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until they just start to crack on top.
- Cool completely before moving onto a cooling rack. If you try to move them before they cool, they will fall apart.
- Place a sheet of wax paper on your counter. Add about 2 cups of the icing sugar to a small bowl. Roll each cookie in the icing sugar to coat the entire cookie - even the bottom. After you've rolled each cookie, place them on the wax paper.
- Add the remaining icing sugar to a fine sifter and dust over all of the cookies.
- Place in an air-tight container. These will hold for weeks, and freeze for months.
The Best 20+ Christmas Cookie Recipes
The Perfect Soft Gingerbread Cookies by Ella Claire | Classic Sugar Cookies by Nina Hendrick Design Co. | Plaid Sugar Cookies by Craftberry Bush | Buttery Shortbread Cookies with Icing Sugar by A Burst of Beautiful | German Chocolate Cake Cookies by City Farmhouse
Cranberry Orange Walnut Tassies by Inspired by Charm | Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies by Julie Blanner | All Natural Orange Almond Cookies by Tidbits | Choco-mallow Peppermint Cookies by Summer Adams Designs | Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies by Love Grows Wild
Paleo Chocolate Cranberry Cookies by Nesting with Grace | Raspberry Gingersnap Sandwiches by anderson + grant | Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cookies by Rooms for Rent | Large Thumbprint Cookies by So Much Better with Age | Rum Balls by Tidy Mom
Countdown to Christmas Cookies by House 214 Design | GF + DF Gingerbread Sugar Cookies by Zevy Joy | Christmas Shortbread Cookies by Boxwood Avenue | Double Chocolate Christmas Cookies by Nest of Posies | Almond Sugar Cookies by My Sweet Savannah