Whipped Shortbread Cookies Recipe (Traditional + Vegan Recipe)


These homemade whipped shortbread cookies are a great way to add a twist to a classic holiday treat, and use only three simple, natural ingredients! #whippedshortbread #shortbreadcookies #christmascookies #veganshortbreadcookies #buttershortbreadcookies #traditionalshortbreadcookies #classicshortbreadcookiesThere are certain foods that are just synonymous with Christmas time because you’ll rarely, if ever, eat them at any time of year. Shortbread cookies tend to make that list for most people.

That’s the case for me, anyway. The only time I ever remember eating shortbread while growing up was at Christmas. My great aunt always gifted everyone a repurposed cookie tin full of homemade shortbread cookies (she still does) and there always seemed to be a tray of rum balls and shortbread cookies on the table at every family gathering.

There’s something warm and comforting about shortbread, probably because of the association with family and the holiday season. Naturally, I wanted to be the one to carry on the Christmas shortbread cookie tradition in my own family, so I asked my great aunt for her recipe last year.

The problem is, her recipe uses vegetable shortening (instead of butter), which is highly processed, and also full of trans fats (which are the bad kind that have been linked to heart disease and high cholesterol, in case you didn’t know).

I figured that maybe shortbread got its name from the vegetable shortening, and decided not to make the recipe after all. But after doing a little research, I learned that shortbread is simply a cookie (aka. biscuit) that has a high fat content (the traditional ratio for shortbread cookies is 1 part sugar to 2 parts fat to 3 parts flour), and that fat can be anything from butter to lard to coconut oil, and yes, sadly, vegetable shortening too.

 

Related: Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies with Strawberry Jam

 

Why is it called shortbread?

Shortbread is thought to have originated in Scotland in the 12th century, and while there’s some debate over where the term “shortbread” came from, the general consensus is that it’s either called so due to the high shortening content (which technically means any type of fat that’s solid at room temperature, including butter, lard and coconut oil), or because of the “short” texture of the dough, which is a term used to describe flaky, buttery pastries.

These homemade whipped shortbread cookies are a great way to add a twist to a classic holiday treat, and use only three simple, natural ingredients! #whippedshortbread #shortbreadcookies #christmascookies #veganshortbreadcookies #buttershortbreadcookies #traditionalshortbreadcookies #classicshortbreadcookies

You see, with bread dough, you want those long strands of gluten to form to give you a moist, chewy finished product that holds together well. But with shortbreads, including pie crust and other pastry doughs that you want to be light and flaky, you want to inhibit the gluten strands from forming to keep the dough from getting to hard or tough.

The best way to do this is with fat (aka. shortening) because fat coats gluten proteins and prevents them from forming long strands. This is why fat (cold fat in particular) is such an important component of a good pie crust.

But by no means do you have to use vegetable shortening. Nor should you.

After all, processed, hydrogenated vegetable shortening is a 20th century invention (by a major pharmaceutical company, by the way, which says a lot about it as a “food” product”), but shortbread has been dated back to the 12th century, so for 800 years people did without the vegetable shortening and made shortbread cookies with natural shortening (mainly butter) which is what this recipe uses. 

 

A modern twist on an old classic

This year for Christmas, I decided I wanted to give shortbread cookies another chance, and my (other) aunt just so happened to mention her whipped shortbread cookies recipe to me when I was visiting. Naturally, my ears perked up and I had to know more.

The secret, she said, is in the whipping. You’ve gotta whip the shortbread cookie dough for 10 whole minutes. The whipping helps to aerate the dough and keep it so light and fluffy and buttery that it practically melts in your mouth.

The best part is, this recipe only uses sugar, flour, a pinch of salt, an optional splash of vanilla and REAL BUTTER! No hydrogenated vegetable shortening. No cornstarch (another popular ingredient in shortbread cookies) and no complicated ingredients to worry about.

And OMG. They are THE BEST shortbread cookies I’ve ever eaten, hands down.

These homemade whipped shortbread cookies are a great way to add a twist to a classic holiday treat, and use only three simple, natural ingredients! #whippedshortbread #shortbreadcookies #christmascookies #veganshortbreadcookies #buttershortbreadcookies #traditionalshortbreadcookies #classicshortbreadcookies

 

Simple ingredients, outstanding flavour 

Now, technically the whipped shortbread cookies recipe that I got from my aunt only has sugar, butter and flour, and as long as you stick to that 1:2:3 part ratio, you’ll get perfect shortbread cookies in the end. But I found that an extra pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla were just what this shortbread recipe needed to take it from good to drool-worthy.

Because while fat is important for flavour, salt is a flavour enhancer that can take food of all kinds to a whole new level.

That being said, I always use salted butter. I know most baking recipes call for unsalted butter, but I like and use the salted stuff, and I still tend to add a little more salt to my recipes to really make the flavours shine.

However, if you’ve got a real salt aversion, you can always use unsalted butter and omit any extra salt. But if you’re looking for that rich, buttery flavour, I have to say my husband and I are both a fan of using salted butter and an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt. I tried 4 different batches with various alterations on the original recipe, and this was the money batch.

I also tested out a coconut oil version too in case you don’t eat dairy (or are looking for a pantry substitution).

The coconut oil batch came out good, but not quite as light and crumbly as the butter cookies. Nor were they quite as flavourful as the butter-based shortbread cookies. In fact, if you use coconut oi, I would recommend increasing the salt to ½ teaspoon. And if you don’t want the subtle coconut flavour of unrefined coconut oil, you can use refined coconut oil instead. But the coconut flavour isn’t overpowering and I actually think it compliments the shortbread cookies nicely:)

Either way, coconut oil is a perfect substitute for anyone who doesn’t eat butter. Definitely better than partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening! *Blech*

 

How to make whipped shortbread cookies

Whipped shortbread cookies are super easy to make. All you do is cream together 1 cup of room temperature butter of softened coconut oil and ½ cup of icing sugar, as well as 1 teaspoon of vanilla (which is optional but recommended).

These homemade whipped shortbread cookies are a great way to add a twist to a classic holiday treat, and use only three simple, natural ingredients! #whippedshortbread #shortbreadcookies #christmascookies #veganshortbreadcookies #buttershortbreadcookies #traditionalshortbreadcookies #classicshortbreadcookies

Then add in 1½ cups of all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon of salt and whip for 10 minutes. It’s easiest to use a stand mixer for this as you can let it run for 10 minutes while you do other things, but it is possible to use a food processor or an electric hand mixer as well.

You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl a couple times throughout the process. But other than that this part is hands-off if you’re using a stand mixer.

If you haven’t done so yet, while you’re whipping your cookie dough, preheat the oven to 350ºF (176ºC) and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Once the 10 minutes are up and your dough has finished whipping, form it into cookies by either rolling tablespoon-sized chunks into a ball and pressing down slightly with your fingers or a fork, or simply spoon tablespoonfuls directly onto your prepared baking sheet for more rustic looking cookies.

These homemade whipped shortbread cookies are a great way to add a twist to a classic holiday treat, and use only three simple, natural ingredients! #whippedshortbread #shortbreadcookies #christmascookies #veganshortbreadcookies #buttershortbreadcookies #traditionalshortbreadcookies #classicshortbreadcookies

These homemade whipped shortbread cookies are a great way to add a twist to a classic holiday treat, and use only three simple, natural ingredients! #whippedshortbread #shortbreadcookies #christmascookies #veganshortbreadcookies #buttershortbreadcookies #traditionalshortbreadcookies #classicshortbreadcookies

My aunt says she spoons her dough on because it’s too soft to handle, but I tested 4 batches this week and I was able to handle the dough from every batch quite easily. If your dough is too soft to handle or to form into a ball, then you can either spoon it onto our baking sheet or place it in the fridge for a few minutes until it hardens up just a bit.

From here you can either bake your cookies as they are or press your finger into the middle to make a small indent and then place a candied cherry or a dollop of jam inside. Then bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottom just begins to turn golden brown.

 

Variations and add-ins to whipped shortbread cookies

Many shortbread recipes call for a maraschino cherry in the middle. If you do choose to add a cherry, keep in mind that there’s usually corn syrup, artificial dyes and all sorts of other garbage in store-bought maraschino cherries.

Instead, I used my homemade amaretto cherries in my cookies and they worked really well! I tried using them straight out of the jar but found that they were still too moist when I put them directly onto the cookie dough and baked them as-is. However when I baked my next batch, I put my cherries on a little parchment paper and dried them in my oven at 200ºF (93ºC) for half an hour and then baked them on top of the cookies and they came out much better.

I’ve also filled these homemade shortbread cookies with dollops of homemade strawberry jam, which is equally delicious.

Or, of course, you can always just enjoy them in all their simple glory. Because regardless what you top them with (or whether you top them at all), these are still the very best shortbread cookies I’ve ever eaten, by far.

But don’t take my word for it. Let me know what you think! Leave a review or let me know in the comments below:)

These buttery whipped shortbread cookies (with optional jam filling) add a delicious twist to a classic holiday treat! You'll love these if you love traditional shortbread cookies, vintage cookie recipes or any type of Christmas cookies:)

Whipped Shortbread Cookies (Traditional + Vegan Recipe)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened (or coconut oil)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (176ºC) and lightly grease a baking tray.
  2. Cream together powdered sugar and butter (or coconut oil) and vanilla (if using).
  3. Add flour and salt and whip the dough for a full 10 minutes. Stop to scrape down the bowl a couple times if needed.
  4. Using your hands or a spoon, either roll cookie dough gently into balls and transfer to your baking sheet, or spoon tablespoonfuls of dough directly onto the baking sheet. Press dough down gently with your fingers or a fork. Alternatively, make an indent in each cookie using your finger and add a Maraschino cherry or a little jam.
  5. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
  6. To gift homemade shortbread cookies, line a cookie tin (preferably a plaid one) with parchment paper and gently layer cookies on top of one another. You can either layer them directly on top of one another or place squares of parchment between each layer to keep them separate.

CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

6 Comments

  1. Donna

    I also always use salted butter in any recipe. 😉 I think I’ll make these with some strawberry-rhubarb pie filling from this year’s rhubarb plants, and surprise my mom for Christmas. She is a huge rhubarb fan.

    Reply
  2. lorraine

    This recipe looks yummy. I have made my mom’s cream cheese cookie recipe which calls for jam to fill them. I find mixing some flour into the jam helps keep it from running out all over the cookie sheet. The amount varies by the jam texture and how much you need for the prune one needs less than the apricot. This should work in this recipe as well. I usually start with a teaspoon and see how they bake and add more if needed.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Thats a great tip: to add flour to the jam to keep it from running. I’ll have to try that! And OMG, cream cheese cookies?? Those sound delicious!?

      Reply
  3. Toni

    Which is the correct amount of flour, 3 cups or one and a half cups?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Tori,

      Thanks for catching that! The correct amount is 1½ cups flour. I must have put 3 by accident since I was thinking of the 1:2:3 part ratio of sugar, butter and flour. So for a single batch, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 cup butter and 1½ cups flour.

      Reply
  4. susan

    definately on my cookie list

    Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

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It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)
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I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

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Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

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I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

Thanks to everyone who has read the magazine over the past 4 years. I’m humbled and grateful for your support, and can’t wait to share whatever comes next:)

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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

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Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

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There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
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Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

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(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

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The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society to learn more.

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90 0

If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

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32 0

Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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114 18

Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-guide to get your free copy!
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#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram
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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/12-frugal-living-tips-summer/
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#houseandhomestead
#momentsofcalm
#pursuejoy
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