Shortbread Sugar Cookies With Icing

"I love shortbread and I like sugar cookies but a cookie that is both...that's heaven! This is the kind of icing that "dries" and makes almost like a candy shell on the cookie. When the icing is dry, store in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also keep the unbaked dough in the fridge for up to a week...but who can resist making these that long? You have to use butter to get the right taste. Sometimes just for a different flavor I add a teaspoon or two of almond extract."
photo by Melinda W. photo by Melinda W.
photo by Melinda W.
photo by Heather M. photo by Heather M.
photo by Annjolee photo by Annjolee
photo by Kathyaopp photo by Kathyaopp
photo by Katiekins photo by Katiekins
Ready In:
4-5 dozen cookies




  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or generously spray with non stick spray.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add slowly to butter mixture on low speed. Do not overbeat! Only mix until flour is incorporated.
  • Form dough into big ball and place in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll out chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter or you can use a pizza cutter and make squares or rectangles. Another option is to roll into a log and cut 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Using a spatula, transfer to cookie sheets leaving about 1/2 inch between cookies.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheet and then transfer to cooling rack.
  • When cookies are cool, whisk together the icing ingredients and either dip the cookies or spread on cookies. You can smooth the icing with the back of a spoon.
  • These are so good -- you should really double the recipe!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Joanne F.
    Followed the instructions, checked and rechecked amounts, etc.... All I ended up with was a bowl of dry flower, not dough! Ideas? Was the butter supposed to be melted? The recipe says room temp. I can't figure out what went wrong.
  2. Amy M.
    I'm about to start making these for a baby shower. I have star wars themed cut-outs with stamping feature as well. The cookies need to be quite thick like the owls in the photo but I want them to hold their star wars shape. Any tips for getting this right? Is there a recommended flour or butter I should use?
  3. Itze9201
    Do I flour the surface? I’m not much of a baker so I need literal instructions.
  4. Patti N.
    I left mine in the fridge overnight. I’ve had it out for an hour and still rock solid? Will it soften up? Anything I can do to quicken the process?
  5. Gina J.
    Are these cookies soft? I am looking for a thick but soft sugar cookie recipe.


  1. Kaitlin G.
    So good, tastes just like the shortbread cookies from Starbucks!!
  2. Annjolee
    I absolutely LOVE this recipe. The only change I made was adding corn syrup to the icing for that nice shiny look and more powdered sugar to my liking. My boyfriend could not stop at one. Oh! I also used almond extract combined with the vanilla.
  3. watersprite7
    Much better tasting than traditional sugar cookies. They can be a little fragile so be sure to only roll to the full 1/4 thickness. The kids loved that they could eat the cookie dough (no eggs)! I had a very moist dough so it was no problem - don't know why others have drier result - but to the person who had a real issue perhaps they used granulated sugar, or packed the powdered sugar or packed the flour? I halved the batch and had a little trouble rolling out the second because it was too cold (in the fridge too long). I deviated and used salted butter because it is what I had available.
  4. Heather M.
    I absolutely love this cookie recipe! I did not change the cookie recipe at all. The cookies turn out firm like a shortbread and sweet like a sugar cookie. Which makes this recipe the perfect go-to for decorated cookies. For the icing, I doubled the powdered sugar, substituted water for the milk, doubled the vanilla, and added 2 tablespoons of meringue powder. This recipe tweak allows for a great foundation for cookie icing for highly decorated cookies. Just add water gradually to thin out your icing to your desired consistency.
    • Review photo by Heather M.
  5. deemun.68
    Great recipe! Really easy! Grandchildren loved making these! We rolled out dough between sheets of parchment paper! Worked flower no mess at all. Kids enjoyed rolling. Roll out small amounts at a time....keeping dough refrigerated until needed. Liked frosting recipe WITHOUT corn syrup. Worked for us!


  1. Katiekins
    Melted White and semi-sweet chocolate instead of icing (but the white chocolate seized up with addition of food colouring)


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