Sixteen bunny shaped shortbread cookies with lemon frosting tails on a brown piece of parchment paper on a wooden board. There is a blue tea towel with bunnies on it in the background, as well as two lemons, a bowl of strawberries and a plate with sliced strawberries and lemons.

Simple and Sweet Shortbread Cookies

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With five simple ingredients in the dough these delicious shortbread cookies could not be easier! Whether you call them butter cookies or shortbread cookies, these are the light, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that will leave you wanting more. These are also egg-free, so they’re a great option for anyone wanting an egg-free cookie recipe.

Sixteen bunny shaped shortbread cookies with lemon frosting tails on a brown piece of parchment paper on a wooden board. There is a blue tea towel with bunnies on it in the background, as well as two lemons, a bowl of strawberries and a plate with sliced strawberries and lemons.
Bunny shaped shortbread cookies dipped in powdered sugar with lemon frosting tails.

If you’ve seen any of my other recipes, you may have noticed that I love to make shaped foods! Where I tend not to use food colorings, I think that I lean into shapes to make foods more fun or holiday-related. Since we’ve moved on from Valentine’s Day, I have all things Springtime and Easter on my mind. I got the cutest little bunny cutter that I wanted to try out, so cookies came immediately to mind!

You may remember from my post about the Lemon Cheesecake Tarts that I received a package of all natural flavored powdered sugars from Whipzi last week. It’s been so much fun to try them out and to plan future recipes using them. The strawberry powdered sugar seemed like the perfect flavor to use for a shortbread cookie. It worked out really well! The strawberry flavor and pink color are both subtle, but you can tell they’re there.

My original plan was to make the cookies, dip them in powdered sugar, and leave it at that. Then I thought about making a little frosting tail. I was thinking that the lemon would be a great mix with the strawberry flavor and that the pastel yellow would be adorable for the tail and I am really happy with how it all worked out.

You can shop any of Whipzi’s naturally flavored powdered sugars here. They have generously given me a code so that you can save 15%. So go ahead and use my code SARAH15 when you shop! All flavors are anticipated to restock by the end of March; don’t fret when you see that many have sold out. This a small, woman-owned business and 2023 was their first full year in business!

This recipe can absolutely be made with regular powdered sugar for a traditional shortbread cookie. I would still recommend dipping or rolling the cookies in powdered sugar after baking. My kids and husband absolutely loved these, so no matter how you make them, they will be a hit! Any shape will work for these delicious cookies and I included notes in the recipe below on how to make them without rolling and cutting. For anyone looking for a super easy way to throw these together, that would be a fantastic option!

As seen on instagram here.

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Simple and Sweet Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by Sarah
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

17

minutes
Calories

224

kcal
Chilling time

15

minutes
Total time

47

minutes

These melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are so simple and delicious! You’re going to want to make them again and again. This recipe makes about 24 cookies.

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Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks softened)

  • 1/2 c powdered sugar (see notes)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 280 g all purpose flour (see notes)

  • 1/4 tsp fine pink Himalayan sea salt (see notes)

  • Dipping:
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar

  • Frosting (optional):
  • 2 oz cream cheese (softened)

  • 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)

  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar

Directions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use a large mixing bowl + hand mixer), add the softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. I wanted to make these cookies strawberry flavored and slightly pink, so I used Whipzi strawberry powdered sugar. You can definitely use regular powdered sugar for a traditional shortbread cookie. If your powered sugar is getting older, it may be clumping (you’ll see that it doesn’t look as fine as when it’s brand new). If that’s the case, sift it before adding it to the mixer.
  • Start mixing on low or the powdered sugar will fly all over the kitchen. Once it’s been mixed into the butter, go ahead and put your mixer on high and really whip it up. You want the butter and powdered sugar to be completely smooth, no little butter pieces or chunks of powdered sugar. Mix for about 5 minutes or more if needed. Be sure to stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
  • Once the butter and sugar mixture is nice and smooth, add the flour and the salt. Again, start mixing on low to incorporate the flour. Then bump it up to a higher speed until a dough has formed. You’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. The dough will be sticky.
  • Flour a work surface and transfer the dough from the mixing bowl to the work surface. You’ll need a spatula to scrape all of the dough from the sides of the bowl and from the paddle attachment. Once you’ve got all of your dough, with floured hands, form it into a ball. Once you’ve got a ball that’s no longer sticky, form it into a disc and wrap it for chilling.

    *If you prefer not to roll and cut these cookies, that’s ok too! You can chill the dough in the mixing bowl and then use a tablespoon to take out dough, roll into balls and place on your rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place the wrapped dough disc into the freezer for 15 mins. You could also place it into the fridge for at least an hour and up to a couple of days. I actually placed mine into the freezer for 30 mins and then it was too frozen and I had to wait to roll it out. So don’t do that.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, place a rack in the center and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. I used a half sheet size and couldn’t quite fit them all, so if you have a full sheet size, you might want to use that, or you can bake in two batches.
  • Once the dough has chilled, bring it back to your floured work surface and roll it out to about 1/4 inch.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut as many as you can from the dough, then bring the scraps together, roll out again to 1/4 inch and repeat until you’ve got all of the cookies cut out. I was able to cut 24 bunnies with my bunny cutter. I always end up with a little dough that I can’t cut out and I form it into a circle. This is the perfect “test cookie” for you to test right out of the oven for scientific purposes.A wooden pastry board with 18 bunny shaped shortbread cookies cut out, one circle cookie and one bunny shaped cookie cutter.
  • Once all of the cookies have been cut out, arrange them on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. If the dough has been well chilled, they will not spread much. You can chill them once more for a few minutes before putting them into the oven, but you don’t have to.Twenty shortbread cookies cut into bunny shapes on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 17 minutes. They don’t get golden brown, but you will see them beginning to brown on the edges. 17 minutes was the perfect time for me. (I have not tested making these cookies as balls, so if you go that route, watch them in the oven from 13 mins on since they will be higher than the cut-out cookies, but may take longer due to being thicker.)
  • While the cookies are baking, make the frosting. The frosting is unnecessary and I really only did it for the bunny tails. If I were making these cookies any other shape, I wouldn’t make the frosting. But anyhow, to make the frosting, start with the softened cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until completely smooth. Add the powdered sugar and start to mix slowly. Once the powdered sugar has been incorporated, put the mixer on high and allow it to mix for a few minutes until everything is fully combined and smooth. I made this frosting with the lemon flavored powdered sugar. If you are using regular powdered sugar, add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  • Place the 1/2 c of powdered sugar for dipping into a medium-sized bowl. I used the strawberry powdered sugar again here, but you can use plain if that’s what you’ve got. When the cookies are done baking and have cooled just enough to handle, dip them into the powdered sugar. I didn’t worry too much about the bottoms of the cookies, I mainly focused on dipping the tops. If you made the round ball cookies, just give them a roll in the sugar. Once I dipped all of the cookies, I went back and dipped them once more for good coverage.Glass Pyrex bowl of powdered sugar with a rimmed baking sheet behind it with bunny shaped shortbread cookies on it.
  • To add the bunny tails, I used half of the frosting that I made and placed it into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. I then placed this into the freezer for about 15 minutes so that the frosting would be firm. Because the cream cheese and butter has to be soft in order to make the frosting, it needs to be cold again to pipe out the little tails, or it will be melty. Pipe on a little tail for each bunny! I had about twice the amount of frosting that I needed, but it would be harder to make less because then the mixer wouldn’t really be able to get to it. I stored half of the frosting and will use it for another recipe.Close up of bunny shaped shortbread cookies with lemon frosting tails on a brown piece of parchment paper on a wooden board. There is a blue tea towel with bunnies on it in the background, as well as two lemons, a bowl of strawberries and a plate with sliced strawberries and lemons.
  • Serve and enjoy! You can store leftovers in an airtight container for a couple of days. Ours were gone by the next day because they are so good!

Equipment

Recipe Video

Notes

  • I used Whipzi all natural strawberry flavored powdered sugar for the cookies (dough and dipping) and I used their lemon flavored powdered sugar for the frosting tails. They have generously offered me a discount code to share – use SARAH15 to save 15%.
  • I prefer to weigh my flour with a kitchen scale when baking. If measuring, you’re going for 2 1/4 c.
  • I love my pink salt for baking, I buy it at the grocery store and don’t need to go anywhere special to find it. It’s not necessary, you can use regular fine salt if that’s what you have.

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