Nothing says winter like homemade shortbread cookies. Originally from Scotland, this cookie was traditionally served on Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year's Eve), and at weddings. It dates back to the 12th century, but was refined to the cookie we love today by Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. There are many variations of shortbread, but my personal favorite is vanilla shortbread that's been chocolate dipped. Below is my adaptation of the Joy for Baking recipe. Enjoy! 

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar (caster sugar will suffice as well)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 oz dark chocolate

Serving: 20 cookies  |  Preheat oven to 350ºF

1. In an electric mixer, beat the room temperature butter until creamy and smooth (1 minute).
2. Add in the sugar. Beat until smooth (2 minutes).
3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
4. Gently stir in the flour by hand until just incorporated.
5. Flatten dough and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until firm (30 minutes to 1 hour).
6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Once chilled, rework dough slightly on counter if necessary. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a circle 1/4 inch thickness.
8. Cut out rounds with a lightly floured cookie cutter and place on prepped baking sheets.
9. Place in the refrigerator to help the cookies maintain their shape when baking (5-10 minutes).
10. Bake 8-11 minutes until very light golden color.
11. Cool on a paper towel lined wire rack.
12. Break chocolate into pieces, place into a heatproof bowl, and place it over a saucepan of simmering water (do not use a bowel where the bottom of the bowel touches the bottom of the saucepan. This could lead to burnt chocolate).
13. Once chocolate is melted and become smooth and glossy, remove from heat.
14. Dip cooled cookies into the melted chocolate, and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
15. Let cool. If necessary, place in the refrigerator for chocolate to harden (5-10 minutes).
16. Enjoy!

Note: It is best to use the highest quality butter and vanilla when making shortbread as their flavor really comes through.  Shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
{image by Julia Ferguson of Room for Dessert}


  1. Mary Queen of Scots :) (Not Scotts) Sorry big faux pas and I'm basically saving you from tons of Scottish ridicule. They're not the most understanding bunch!

  2. Dear Julia,
    Is there a recipe I am doing a report on scotland.I was wondering if there was a recipe.

    1. The recipe is above. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.



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