Shortbread Cutouts Recipe

Shortbread Cutouts Recipe
© Provided by Taste of Home

From: Taste of Home

I found this recipe in a magazine over 30 years ago and have made these shortbread cutout cookies for Christmas ever since. They're an oh-so-simple recipe to whip up during the hectic holidays.

Prep: 20 min.
Bake: 20 min./batch
Makes: about 2 dozen

More Recipe: Chewy Brown Butter Pretzel Pecan Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Assorted gel food coloring
  • Optional: Sanding sugar, sugar pearls and sprinkles


  • Preheat oven to 300°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Gradually beat in flour. Transfer dough to a clean work surface; knead gently to form a smooth dough, about 2 minutes. (Mixture will be very crumbly at first, but will come together and form a dough as it's kneaded.)
  • Divide dough in half. Roll each portion between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2- to 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. If desired, sprinkle with colored sugar.
  • Bake until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add water, meringue powder, vanilla extract and cream of tartar. Whisk by hand until meringue powder has completely dissolved.
  • Place bowl on stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, slowly add 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until all the confectioners’ sugar has been incorporated. Increase speed and mix until icing is glossy and forms peaks, 3-5 minutes; divide icing in half.
  • For stiff icing (used for outlining cookies), the frosting should form stiff peaks and hold its shape; if needed, add remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, a little at time, until desired consistency is reached.
  • For flood-consistency icing (used for filling in cookie design), a line cut through the icing with a spatula should take 15 seconds to disappear. Add water to the remaining half of the icing, a little at a time, stirring by hand, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Tint icing with food coloring and decorate as desired. Keep icing covered to prevent drying. Let cookies stand until icing is set.

More Recipe:
Chocolate Chip & Cookie Butter Thumbprints

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Cake Magazine: Shortbread Cutouts Recipe
Shortbread Cutouts Recipe
Roll out some of these easy shortbread cutout cookies to make your holiday baking a little simpler (and sweeter) in a hectic season.
Cake Magazine
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