There’s something very special about shortbread cookies. The buttery flavor and light texture makes them the perfect cookie to enjoy with coffee or tea. An added bonus is that they require very few ingredients and can be baked rather quickly. We’ve taken a traditional shortbread cookie recipe and scaled down the ingredients so that the recipe will yield 3 perfect cookies. The addition of melted chocolate makes them even more spectacular.
This classic shortbread cookie recipe calls for just four ingredients.
It’s true! Only softened butter, a little bit of sugar, a touch of vanilla extract, and some all-purpose flour are all you need to make a quick batch of buttery, perfect shortbread cookies.
When you have a cooking craving, this should be the cookie recipe you go to first. In about the time it takes you to put on a pot of tea or brew a cup of coffee, these cookies can be mixed, baked, and ready to dunk.
The perfect shortbread cookie should be sinfully buttery and perfectly tender. They should definitely be considered a year-round cookie, not just a Christmas classic.
With a small batch recipe such as this one, why not enjoy a few of these spectacular cookies whenever the mood arises. Shortbread cookies are perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea and are ideal for dunking in a glass of cold milk.
I love melting a small bit of chocolate and drizzling the melted chocolate over the tops of the cooled cookies. It makes them so pretty and a small batch would make a lovely gift for a friend or neighbor.
This small batch shortbread recipe will yield 3 to 4 cookies. The perfect amount for one or two people. If you want to make a few more cookies, this recipe can be doubled and will yield 6 to 8 cookies.
What Are Scottish Shortbread Cookies?
Shortbread is a traditional Scottish cookie made from a simple recipe which consists of butter, flour, and sugar.
Some would classify shortbread as a cookie, while others consider it a biscuit. One thing we can all agree on is that the shortbread we know today would definitely not be considered “bread”.
Shortbread may have been made as early as the 12th century. During that time, shortbread was called “biscuit bread” and was made from leftover dough from bread making. This dough was dried out and baked at a low temperature and hardened into a dry, sweet biscuit called a rusk. Eventually yeast from the original recipe was replaced with butter, which was becoming more available in Britain, Scotland, and Ireland.
The shortbread cookie we love, or at least a variation of the one we know, can possibly be attributed to Mary Queen of Scots, in the 16th century. It is thought that she was very fond of thin, buttery shortbread called Petticoat Tails.
How To Make Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread cookies couldn’t be any easier to make.
Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Then mix in the flour.
Pro Tip: The dough will resemble wet sand. When you begin to knead the dough, it comes together and begins to look like typical cookie dough.
Knead the dough 3 to 4 times until dough forms a ball.
Divide the dough into three or four pieces, roll the balls of dough between your hands, and place on a small baking sheet.
Using the palm of your hand or the back of a large spoon, gently flatten each piece of cookie dough slightly.
Sprinkle a little sugar over the tops of each cookie and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes.
After the cookies have cooled, melt a little chocolate and using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate over the tops of each cookie.
How To Store Shortbread Cookies
You might not have enough cookies leftover from this small batch recipe to store, but shortbread cookies can be kept at room temperature for about a week in an airtight container.
They can also be frozen, if necessary for three to four weeks.
This is truly the best shortbread cookie recipe. The buttery flavor and light texture makes them the perfect cookie to enjoy with coffee or tea. Shortbread cookies require very few ingredients and can be baked quickly. Drizzle them with melted chocolate for an added treat.
Other Small Batch Cookie Recipes
- Soft Ginger Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
- Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cookies
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Cowboy Cookies
- Lace Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
For this shortbread cookies recipe, I use the following products:
If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat lining.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla together with a hand mixer until creamy.
- Add flour and beat until well mixed.
- Knead mixture 3 to 4 times until dough forms a ball. Divide dough into 3 equally sized balls and place on baking sheet about 3-inches apart.
- Using the palm of your hand or a large spoon, gently press down on the dough so that the dough flattens to about ¼-inch thickness.
- Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of sugar evenly over each of the cookies. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely for 10 minutes.
- While the cookies are cooling, microwave chocolate in microwaveable bowl on high for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave 10 seconds more; stir. Continue heating and stirring in 10-second increments until completely melted.
- Dip spoon into melted chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over edges and tops of cookies.
- Allow chocolate to harden before eating, about 20 minutes.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.