Whipped Shortbread Cookies recipe creates light and buttery cookies that literally melt in your mouth. Use your choice of peppermint, almond or pure vanilla extract for festive Christmas shortbread cookies.
These cookies are a perfect addition to a holiday cookie tray along side Dad’s Old Fashioned Fudge and Mom’s Classic Walnut Balls. Add in Divinity Candy, Simple Orange Cranberry Pistachio Fudge and Mom’s Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle for over the top holiday cheer.
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Difference Between Whipped Shortbread and Regular Shortbread Cookies
Whipped Shortbread and regular shortbread both have somewhat similar ingredients and are loved by many during the holiday season. However, there are some very distinctive differences between these two cookies.
Regular shortbread has a Scottish origin and is very much loved in the UK. It is a dense and buttery cookie that you could almost describe as a sweet biscuit. Additionally, regular or traditional shortbread cookies use granulated sugar and often are used as a base for the crust in cheesecakes and pies.
Trying to find the origin of Whipped Shortbread was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, what I found was that these cookies became wildly popular on Reddit. Like the name implies, the butter and powdered sugar are whipped for a lengthy 5 minutes. The addittion of cornstarch gives these cookies a light, airy and crumbly texture.
These delicious cookies are not only incredibly easy to make, they also have very simple ingredients.
- Unsalted Butter– Use the best quality butter that you can afford since it is the star ingredient of these cookies. Also, if using salted butter eliminate the salt.
- Powdered Sugar– Also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar.
- All Purpose Flour– Use unbleached all purpose flour for the best results.
- Corn starch– Helps to create a crumbly and tender texture.
- Extract– Using peppermint extract , almond extract or pure vanilla extract gives the cookies a Christmasy flavor.
- Salt– Enhances flavors when baking.
- Decorating Sugar or Sprinkles– I purchased Watkins Decorating Sugar at Sprouts Farmers Market. However, Amazon has both the green and red also.
- Stand Mixer– I highly recommend using a stand mixer since there is a lengthy mixing time. However, an electric hand mixer may be used but the whipping of the butter need to be whipped on high speed for an additional 2 minutes.
- Cookie Sheets
- Parchment Paper– Using parchment paper is optional. However, it makes transferring the cookies much easier since they are very delicate.
- Bowl Scraper– A bowl scraper works best with the dough being on the softer side.
- Small Cookie Scoop– Use the small 1 tablespoon cookie scoop.
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Fork– A fork dipped into powdered sugar and then the cookie helps to make the cookies uniform in size for optimal baking.
- Spatula– Love this style of spatula for easy transfer of the cookies.
- Cooling Racks
How To Make Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- Preheat oven to 325℉ and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine room temperature butter, powdered sugar, salt and extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment beat on medium-high speed for a full 5 minutes making sure to stop and scrap down sides of mixer.
- Once beaten the butter should look silky smooth and fluffy.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together cornstarch and flour. Gradually add to butter mixture.
- Beat on medium speed until blended, making sure to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Using a small (1 tablespoon) cookie scoop, scoop the dough.
- Place the scooped cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
- In a separate small bowl add a small amount of additional powdered sugar. Dip the back side of a fork into the powdered sugar.
- Using same fork gently flatten a cookie. Repeat process with all the cookies.
- Sprinkle top of the cookies with your favorite sprinkles and bake for 15-20 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on the cookies at the 10 minute mark and make sure to rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking process. Once baked let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling completely.
Note: This shortbread cookie recipe can also be made in a large bowl using a hand held electric mixer. The butter will need to be whipped on high speed for an additional 2 minutes.
Storage and Freezing
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days once they have cooled completely.
To freeze leftover cookies, cool completely and then place them on parchment lined cookies sheets placed directly into the freezer. Once the cookies are frozen transfer to a freezer container and place back in the freezer. These Whipped Shortbread Cookies will stay fresh for up to 3 months frozen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the dough need to be chilled before baking?
The beauty of these cookies is that the dough does not need to be chilled before baking. However, the dough can be made a day in advance and stored in an airtight container.
How do you know when Whipped Shortbread Cookies are done baking?
As the cookie begins baking the surface will have a shiny appearance due to the butter melting. Once the shininess has disappeared and the the edges of the cookies slightly take on a very light golden color, then the cookies are done baking. In short, the average baking time will be 15 minutes.
Why is there such a large amount of cornstarch in these cookies?
This is one of the key ingredients that helps to give these cookies the light, airy and crumbly texture.
Should these cookies have a crumbly airy texture?
Yes, they absolutely should have a crumbly airy texture. (See above question and answer.)
More Cookie Recipes for the Christmas Season
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter *softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar + extra for flattening cookies (See Note # 1 below)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt See Note #2 below
- 1 teaspoon extract See Note #3 below
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 325℉ and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter, powdered sugar, salt and extract. Using the paddle attachment beat ingredients on medium-high speed for a full 5 minutes.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together cornstarch and flour. Gradually add to butter mixture and beat on medium speed until blended, making sure to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Scoop batter using a small 1 tablespoon sized cookie scoop and place on prepared cookie sheets.
- In a separate small bowl add a small amount of additional powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). Dip the back side of a fork into the powdered sugar and gently flatten a cookie. Repeat process with all the cookies.
- Sprinkle cookies with your favorite decorative sprinkles.Bake for 15- 20 minutes or until cookies loose their shininess and just begin to develop a light golden color on the edges. (See Note #4 below) Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling completely. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days once they have cooled completely. (See note #5 below)