The only shortbread cookie recipe you’ll ever need.

Let me introduce you to the BEST shortbread cookie recipe you will ever make! This is the Christmas version of my great grandmother’s recipe, Nanny’s recipe has the cookies rolled in graham crackers which is the most brilliant idea. The only change I made is the number of sprinkles that are involved. My grandmother added these buttery crunchy and semi addictive cookies to her already famous Christmas cookies. She was known for her Christmas cookies, not only because they were all great but the number of cookies she’d make. I’m talking thousands of cookies, about a dozen different kinds and at least a couple hundred of each if not more. Her secret to getting that many cookies made was child labor, aka me.

The baking madness would start the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We’d have our family Thanksgiving, she’d go black Friday shopping and on her way back to Whidbey Island from the mall she’d swing by and grab me, (sometimes other cousins) so that we can bake for 2 days straight. This started when I was maybe 10. It would start with me shadowing her, to being able to be handed the recipe card and make the dough myself. This was probably one of the first if not the first recipe she let me make by myself. Mainly because it’s so easy.

Again, I’m not exaggerating when I say these are the best shortbread cookies! Since my grandmother’s passing and me moving 300+ miles away from my closest family members, I have started making my favorites from her Christmas cookies. The problem I kept having when I first started making her cookies was to scale them down from making hundreds at a time to only making dozens. The first Christmas in Spokane was only 3 weeks after we moved so we knew next to no one and were having a small Christmas dinner of only seven people so clearly I needed to make 100 cookies per person, which is what I did. 

Needless to say, we had a few hundred cookies leftover. So Colby and I took some to our work and handed out plates to our new neighbors. Days later both of us were asked: “what were the cookies with the sprinkles on the side?” We’d answer: “shortbread cookies” and everyone asked for the recipe. I had a co-worker ask for it because they were the best shortbread she’d ever had and wanted to bake a bunch for the homeless. That is only one of many stories just like this. This season why not add these to your cookie plates, and wait to be asked for the recipe too!

Yield: 48 Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

Buttery, crunchy and semi addictive cookies.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes 9 seconds
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 22 minutes 9 seconds


  • 1c Sugar
  • 1 pound softened Butter
  • 1t Vanilla
  • 4c Flour
  • Sprinkles and/or 2 graham crackers crushed


    1. Cream butter and sugar until pale and smooth.
    2. Add flour until just mixed making sure it's not over mixed. 
    3. Lay an almost 2-foot piece of clear wrap and cover with sprinkles. Divide the dough into 3 even balls, roll each ball into a tight roll (making a tight roll will make sure there won't be a hole in the middle once you slice the cookies). The rolls should be about 1 1/2 -2 inches thick. Once the roll is the size you need, roll the log in the sprinkles until evenly coated. Wrap the whole thing in the clear wrap and chill for an hour or overnight. 
    4. Slice the rolls in 1/4 inch thick slices, lay slices onto a cookie sheet about 1/2 inch (they don't expand so they can be a little closer than normal cookies, but not too close) bake for 9-12 minutes in a 350º oven.


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