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+ servings
multiple short bread cookies laid all together.
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4.57 from 23 votes

Soft Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Soft chewy shortbread cookies are made from one shortbread recipe, with 4 cookie recipe variations. Add M&Ms, dip them in chocolate, or make shortbread thumbprint cookies all from one recipe!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 28 -56 cookies (depending on size)
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: $9


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup (118ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups (170g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups (434g) all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Beat butter and oil with a hand or a stand mixer, then slowly mix in powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add flour and mix until a thick dough forms. This will take awhile with a hand mixer!
  • Scoop 1 or 2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough onto cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake until the edges just turn brown and tops are just no longer translucent (2 tablespoon sized cookies: 10-14 minutes, 1 tablespoon sized cookies: 8-12 minutes). Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.
  • For M&M Shortbread Cookies: add M&Ms on top of the cookie dough ball before baking. For 2 tablespoon sized cookies, I suggest using 5-6 plain M&Ms, any color.
  • For Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies: melt 4 ounces of white or semi-sweet baking chocolate according to package directions. Dip cooled cookies halfway into chocolate, tapping off the excess, and then place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill until hardened. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, toffee bits, nuts, or sprinkles while still wet, if desired.
  • For Thumbprint Cookies: make 1 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Roll them between your hands to form a ball. Use the back of a wooden spoon to slightly make an indent in the center of each cookie. Bake until lightly golden on the bottom (8-12 minutes) and then re-press hole with the wooden spoon handle as needed. Cool completely. For filling, fill with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam, cold hot fudge ice cream topping, or cold caramel ice cream topping. If desired, melt some dark or white baking chocolate to drizzle over the top.


  • Add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or lemon extract (or any kind) for more flavor
  • Don't overtake - they are supposed to be soft.
  • Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.


Serving: 2thumbprint sized cookies | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g