Almost Shortbread Cookies Recipe - Easy and Delicious

Almost Shortbread Cookies

Almost Shortbread Cookies Recipe - Easy and Delicious
Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Cooking time: 15-20 minutes | Servings: 24 cookies


Almost Shortbread Cookies
Almost Shortbread Cookies

Almost Shortbread Cookies are a delightful twist on the classic shortbread recipe. These cookies maintain the rich, buttery flavor and crumbly texture that shortbread is known for, but with a few adjustments to the ingredients list for those looking for a simpler or slightly healthier option. This recipe uses canola oil instead of butter and incorporates an egg, making the cookies a tad lighter but still deliciously indulgent. Perfect for tea time, as a snack, or for special occasions, these cookies are sure to impress with their simplicity and taste.


The history of shortbread dates back to medieval Scotland, where it began as a biscuit bread made from leftover bread dough that was dried out and hardened in a low oven. Over time, butter replaced the yeast, and shortbread became a luxury item reserved for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas, and New Year's celebrations. The Almost Shortbread Cookies recipe is a modern adaptation that maintains the essence of traditional shortbread while making it accessible for everyday baking with common pantry ingredients.


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying it with non-stick pan spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and 0.25 cup of water to form a soft dough.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour to chill.
  5. On a floured board, roll or pat out the dough to a thickness of 0.25 inch.
  6. Cut out rounds that are 2 inches in diameter and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges are a light golden brown.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool, then store them in an airtight container.


  • Lemon zest or orange zest can be added to the dough for a citrusy twist.
  • Swap vanilla extract for almond extract for a different flavor profile.
  • Incorporate finely chopped nuts or chocolate chips into the dough for added texture and taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Almost Shortbread Cookies come out perfectly, follow these tips:

- Chill the dough for at least an hour to prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking.

- Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to prevent sticking without adding too much flour, which could make the dough tough.

- Use a cookie cutter dipped in flour to make clean cuts.

- Keep an eye on the cookies as they bake, as oven temperatures can vary. They should be just golden around the edges.

- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps them set and makes them easier to move without breaking.

Serving Suggestions

These cookies are perfect on their own but can also be dressed up with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of chocolate, or sandwiched with jam or lemon curd for a more decadent treat.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the chilling and rolling of the dough, which ensures the cookies maintain their shape and texture during baking. Baking at a moderate temperature allows them to cook through without browning too quickly.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of regular all-purpose flour.

- If you prefer, you can use a different vegetable oil or melted coconut oil instead of canola oil.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out and baking.

Presentation Ideas

Serve these cookies on a vintage plate for a touch of elegance, or stack them in a clear glass jar tied with a ribbon for a charming gift.

Pairing Recommendations

Almost Shortbread Cookies pair wonderfully with tea, coffee, or a glass of milk. For a dessert pairing, try them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or alongside a fruit salad.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. These cookies do not require reheating, but if you prefer them warm, a quick 5-second zap in the microwave will do the trick.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Almost Shortbread Cookies, which is typically one cookie, contains approximately 150 calories. This makes them a relatively light option for a treat or snack.


Each serving of Almost Shortbread Cookies contains approximately 22 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of carbohydrates in this recipe is the all-purpose flour, followed by the sugar. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, so these cookies can provide a quick boost.


The Almost Shortbread Cookies contain about 10 grams of fat per serving, with the main source being canola oil. Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats. This makes these cookies a slightly healthier option compared to traditional shortbread made with butter.


Each serving of these cookies provides approximately 2 grams of protein, primarily from the all-purpose flour and the egg. While not a high-protein food, these cookies can contribute to your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

These cookies contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium from the baking powder and egg, and iron from the all-purpose flour. They also provide some vitamin E from the canola oil.


The main allergens in this recipe are wheat (from the all-purpose flour) and eggs. Those with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients should avoid these cookies or look for suitable substitutions.


Overall, Almost Shortbread Cookies offer a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and a small amount of protein, with a moderate calorie count. They contain heart-healthy fats from canola oil and provide a small amount of vitamins and minerals.


Almost Shortbread Cookies are a delightful and versatile treat that offers the rich, buttery taste of traditional shortbread with a few simple tweaks. Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and sure to produce delicious results. With options for customization and tips for perfect cookies every time, this recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves the timeless taste of shortbread.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a treasured one. It all began when I was a young girl, visiting my Aunt Martha's farm for the summer. Aunt Martha was known for her delicious baked goods, and I was always eager to learn from her in the kitchen.

One sunny afternoon, Aunt Martha decided to teach me how to make her famous Almost Shortbread Cookies. I watched in awe as she effortlessly mixed together butter, sugar, and flour, creating a dough that was both crumbly and delicate. As she shaped the dough into small rounds and pressed a fork into each one, I couldn't wait to taste the finished product.

When the cookies came out of the oven, they were golden brown and perfectly crisp. I took a bite and was immediately transported to a world of buttery goodness. The cookies were not quite shortbread, but they were close enough to earn the name "Almost Shortbread Cookies."

I begged Aunt Martha to teach me the recipe, and she happily obliged. Over the years, I have made these cookies countless times, tweaking the recipe here and there to suit my own tastes. Each time I bake a batch, I am reminded of that summer on the farm and the joy of learning a new recipe from someone I love.

The key to making these Almost Shortbread Cookies just right is to use high-quality butter. I always opt for the best butter I can find, as it truly makes a difference in the flavor and texture of the cookies. I also like to add a touch of vanilla extract to the dough, as it gives the cookies a subtle sweetness that complements the buttery richness.

To begin, cream together one cup of unsalted butter and half a cup of granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in one teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Gradually add in two cups of all-purpose flour, mixing until a crumbly dough forms.

Using your hands, shape the dough into small rounds and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press a fork into each cookie to create a decorative pattern on top. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Once the cookies have cooled slightly, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. These Almost Shortbread Cookies are best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee, allowing the buttery goodness to melt in your mouth with each bite.

As I sit here in my cozy kitchen, baking a fresh batch of Almost Shortbread Cookies, I can't help but feel grateful for the memories and traditions that have shaped me into the cook I am today. Aunt Martha may no longer be with us, but her spirit lives on in every bite of these delicious cookies. And I will continue to pass down this recipe to future generations, so that they too can experience the joy of baking something special from scratch.


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