Shortbread cookies

Crispy shortbread cookies with an array of holes in a square pattern.

Shortbread cookies are the closest holiday dessert to comfort food—the kind of Christmas cookies Grandma used to make. The great thing about our shortbread cookies is that you can easily adapt it to feature other flavors. Here you'll find two tasty twists: lemon-drizzled shortbread and petticoat tails.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

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2 cups minus 1 Tbsp. flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup semolina
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, semolina and cornstarch. Grate the butter into the flour mixture and combine. The mixture should turn to fine crumbs. Form into a ball and knead until smooth.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a square about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares and prick each one in three places with a fork.
  3. Place the squares on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 23 to 30 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Tasty twists


Lemon-drizzled shortbread
Bake and cool the shortbread as directed. Make a lemon glaze: Stir together 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons strained lemon juice and the grated zest of ½ lemon. Drizzle glaze over the cooled shortbread.


Petticoat tails
Divide the dough into six pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece out to a 6- or 7-inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Press the tines of a fork around the edges of the circle to make a pattern. With a knife, score the dough into 6 pie-shaped wedges, cutting almost—but not all the way— through the dough. Prick each wedge in several places with a fork. Bake the dough as directed. While the shortbread is still warm, slice it all the way through.

Bells are ringing and cookies are baking! We've got plenty more Christmas cookie recipes.