Adding this brown sugar shortbread recipe to your Christmas cookies repertoire is a fantastic way to beef up your recipe file. Baking cookies is often a treasured time between generations and this shortbread cookies recipe is a virtual no-fail.
When you get in the kitchen and bake cookies for the holidays, especially as a time-sharing experience, you want an easy recipe that bakes up nice and tastes divine. Well, I’ve got you covered with this brown sugar shortbread recipe. And it’s ideal when you need something on the fly too!
Apron up and check it out!
I love that this is a simple wholesome recipe that works! Sometimes recipes evolve over time into something more complicated than they need to be – but not this one.
This brown sugar shortbread recipe is exactly what you’d expect, and it tastes fantastic! Here are some other reasons to love it.
- Under an hour from start to finish
- Sweet crunchy shortbread cookies
- Short wholesome ingredient list
- Great for parties and cookie exchanges
- Ideal for baking and spending time with kiddos
This is a traditional shortbread recipe with a 1:2:3 ratio but, unfortunately, it’s not gluten-free since it’s made with wheat flour. This is a simple traditional recipe. So, here are just a few tips to make it really easy.
Cutting your little square shortbread cookies with a pizza roller may be easier if you don’t have a square cookie cutter. However, when it comes to docking or scoring your shortbreads, this is very important.
Using a fork may cut down on time. Scoring your shortbreads lets air escape to minimize bubbling and cracking. It’s also important not to score too close to the edges.
This brown sugar shortbread recipe is super simple, and the ingredient list is short. Just a few little kitchen staples are all you need. No extra trip to the store and no crazy kitchen gadgets necessary. Here’s what you need!
Butter – I use unsalted butter for this recipe and add salt to it. You’ll want your butter soft and spreadable – room temperature.
Sugar – You’ll need dark brown sugar for this brown sugar shortbread recipe, and it does make a difference. (Brown sugar has more molasses in it) Anyhow, be sure to pack the measuring cup so you get the right amount.
Salt – Adding this small amount of salt will actually enhance that deep rich sweet caramel flavor.
Flour – All-purpose flour is ideal for this recipe. Hence – the gluten.
See? Easy peasy!
Keeping your cookies fresh and yummy is really easy. Since the recipe makes 68 cookies, you’ll have some left to store even if you chow down after they cool (which is part of the fun).
They’ll keep just fine in an airtight container with a secure lid or in Ziploc bags. Just be sure not to overcrowd the bag or container and let them cool completely before storing it.
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely! You can freeze the baked cooled cookies or the cookie dough. When I freeze these cookies, I like to freeze it in logs. That way I can take them out of the freezer and let them sit while the oven is preheating. Then I just slice my little cookies and go to town! They’re round instead of a square but that’s okay!
Make Ahead Tips
I get it. Prepping ahead makes everything easier and I do a lot of prepping myself. This brown sugar shortbread recipe is so totally simple, the only prep you can really do is to pre-measure the ingredients.
Depending on your schedule, you can always go the freezer route too. Prepare the dough, label it and freeze it. Then it’s ready to go when you are.
How Long Can You Keep This?
Your brown sugar shortbread recipe has high-fat content so be sure to keep it in a cool dry place. The cookies will keep for up to 2 weeks on the counter and 6 months in the freezer if they are stored properly.
There are a few different things you can do to these cookies, but you don’t want to change it too much. Shortbread cookies naturally have higher fat content and its easy to dry them out. Here are a few little suggestions.
Can I Add Chocolate To This Recipe?
You can probably add chocolate chips to your brown sugar shortbread recipe without any problem or you can make chocolate dipped shortbread cookies. Making straight-up chocolate shortbread cookies isn’t difficult but it does require its own separate recipe.
Can I Add Nuts?
Sure, you can add a few chopped nuts to your brown sugar shortbread and make pecan shortbread cookies or almond shortbread cookies. These cookies have a deep caramel type flavor that blends really well with nuts.
Can I Turn These Into Spanish Cookies?
Adding a few different spices to your brown sugar shortbread recipe will give you something more like Biscochitos. If you’re still stuck on the nuts, then get them out and grab some milk to make some Spanish Polvorones that will rock your world.
Can I Turn These Into German Christmas Cookies?
German Christmas cookies are a different recipe than these brown sugar shortbread. The little springerle and vanillekipferl are yummy spiced little cookies that will add variety to the cookie plate. They’re some favored flavors during the holiday season.
What Other Shortbread Cookies Can I Make?
Once you taste these brown sugar shortbread, you may not want any other shortbread recipes. The dark brown sugar makes them taste more like sweet caramel shortbread, but you can always go with another flavor.
You can try making lemon shortbread cookies or some incredible whipped shortbread cookies for some awesome flavor variety.
Brown Sugar Shortbread
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring rolling surface
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla.
- Add the salt and flour then mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 5 minutes, to form a soft dough.
- Roll dough into 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a rectangular shaped cookie cutter. Reroll and cut out scraps of dough only once or cookies become too crumbly. Poke top of cookies with a bamboo skewer or fork in a decorative pattern.
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven until edges are just beginning to become golden, 16-19 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
There are so many different shortbread cookies recipes it can be hard to decide what to bake! The brown sugar shortbread are some of my favorites but here are some other great shortbread recipes that you can try!
- Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies – That sweet little crumbly shortbread with little chocolate bomb surprises.
- Lavender Shortbread Cookies – Sweet crumbly shortbread with aromatic lavender undertones.
- Shortbread Crust – Add some sweet deliciousness to kick things up a notch!
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies – That little burst of sweet citrus calls to you.
- Scottish Shortbread – With a notable crispy crunch and open airy texture.
Whether I’ve got little ones stirring and scoring or I just need some awesome cookies on the fly, these brown sugar shortbread never let me down. The recipe is simple enough that you can have fun making them and they’re insanely delicious.
These little guys are a staple in my kitchen year-round, but I make them more often during the holidays. They’re just that good and trust me – you’re gonna’ want seconds!