Butter Swirl Shortbread Cookies
These Butter Swirl Shortbread Cookies are a great Christmas Cookie for Holiday Baking! The dough is so easy to make and uses simple ingredients. These are a classic, crisp cookie.
Swirly butter shortbread cookies! I’m sure there’s a more proper name for these, but I have no idea what it might be (if you know, let me know in the comments below). These cookies are so reminiscent of the kind you get in those blue tins of Danish butter cookies that are always shipped to the US this time of year. I love those cookies! I’m always amazed when I look at the side of the package and see how few ingredients there are. How are the cookies so good?! That’s the magic of good butter, I suppose.
Because these cookies are so simple, it’s important to use a really good butter. I usually opt for European Style butter, which has a higher milk fat than regular. The whole point of these cookies is that you get a crisp, buttery experience where the sweet cream flavor of butter really comes through. Oh, and that hint of vanilla!
One thing I love about these cookies is they are very forgiving in the piping department. You’ll see below in my process shots that I’m not the best piper in the world (okay, I’m actually pretty terrible at piping, which is why I’m not a cake decorator), but the cookies still bake up and spread beautifully. Any flaws in piping smooth as they bake.
These cookies are also very sturdy, which makes them great to be shipped or gifted to friends and family. When I do that, I’ll usually include some plain ones, plus some dipped in white chocolate, and some dipped in dark chocolate. You can even add sprinkles or whatever you’d like to jazz them up. Not that they need jazzing. They’re delicious plain too!
Start by creaming together two sticks of butter with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla:
The butter should be fluffy and light, and very smooth when spread with a spatula:
Add in flour and salt:
Mix until you get pebbles, like this:
Add a tablespoon of milk:
And mix for another 15 seconds or so until the dough comes together:
Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (mine was the Ateco 827), and pipe circles onto a silicone mat lined baking sheet:
What I like about the mat versus parchment paper is that the mat is nice and heavy, so it’s easier to pipe onto it than the paper, which can stick to the tip.
Space out 12 cookies per sheet pan:
Then bake until golden on the edges, and let the cookies cool completely.
Here’s a full video on how to make the cookies, and the recipe is below. Happy baking!
For more cookie inspiration, visit the cookie section of my recipe index.
Butter Swirl Shortbread Cookies
Butter Swirl Shortbread Cookies are a great Christmas Cookie for Holiday Baking! The dough is so easy to make and uses simple ingredients. These are a classic, crisp cookie.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 oz (1 cup) confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces by weight)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until it looks combined, light, and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, and mix until it’s crumbly and looks like it can’t be mixed more. Add the milk, then keep mixing, and the dough should clump together after about 15 seconds of mixing.
- Place the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe onto a silicone mat lined baking sheet, with no more than 12 cookies per sheet. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let them cool completely, and enjoy!