Light and airy, whipped shortbread cookies are buttery beyond words with melt-in-your-mouth texture. The cookies are delicious plain but they look beautiful dressed up for Christmas. Vary the toppings with sprinkles, chopped nuts and crushed candies.

Whipped Shortbread

Whipped Shortbread

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 dozen cookies


  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped*
  • Assorted holiday sprinkles and candies


  1. Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whip attachment. Mix on high speed until mixture turns pale, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add flour to butter mixture in three additions, mixing well on medium speed after each addition. When flour is incorporated, add salt and vanilla seeds or extract. Beat on high speed 5 minutes; dough should be pale and thick. Transfer dough to piping bags fitted with decorator tips. Alternatively, use a small cookie scoop.
  3. Line two or more cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pipe (or place) mounds of cookie dough on prepared pans; spacing cookies at least 1 inch apart. Add colorful nonpareils or confetti sprinkles to cookies before baking. Transfer cookies on baking sheets to refrigerator to chill 10 minutes, or until cookies are firm to touch.
  4. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Bake cookies 30-35 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden around edges and still pale in center. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.
  5. *2 teaspoons vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla bean.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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