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Christmas Shortbread Cookie Bars

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4.42 from 29 votes

Buttery Shortbread Cookie Bars will be one of your favorite things to make this holiday season. This delicious and simple recipe is extra easy to make in one bowl with ingredients you most likely already have. These bars are extra buttery, flakey, and oh so tender!

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Shortbread Cookie Bars with Christmas sprinkles cut up into squares on parchment paper. Pin

Shortbread Cookie Bars

Shortbread Cookie Bars taste just like a classic shortbread except they are in a bar form. This simple recipe is made with a few basic ingredients and comes together in minutes. Add your favorite sprinkles to celebrate the holidays or any occasion any time of year!

Other festive cookies I love making during the holidays are my Gingerbread Men Cookies, Santa’s Cookies, Reindeer Cookies, and Snowman Cookies.

These are perfectly light, tender, buttery, and will melt in your mouth. I love how these are cut into cookie bars so you don’t have to worry about scooping and rolling out any cookie dough. The best part is you can custimize these cookie bars by adding your favorite mix-ins and cookie toppings, see a full list below in the blog post.

Enjoy these shortbread cookie bars with a cup of hot tea, hot chocolate, coffee, or anytime you’re in the mood for a buttery cookie. Everyone will fall in love with these because they are better than any store bought shortbread since they are made with real butter and simple ingredients.

Shortbread Cookie Bar Recipe close up view. Pin

Key Ingredients

  • Butter: One of the key ingredients used in a traditional shortbread recipe. You could use salted or unsalted butter- I prefer salted to offset the sweetness a bit. You want to use softened butter so it creams together easily.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: We use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar because it’s less dense and creates lighter cookie bars. It also adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Flour: Spoon and level regular all-purpose flour when measuring it. Be sure not to scoop it out of the bag using the measuring cup. This way, you won’t accidentally measure out too much.
  • Cornstarch: Common in many shortbread recipes, it helps make these cookie bars extra crumbly, flakey, and tender.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances and adds a warm vanilla flavor.
How to make shortbread cookie bars.

How To Make Shortbread Cookie Bars

Mix wet ingredients. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or baking dish with parchment paper. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Add vanilla extract, and continue mixing until combined.

Add dry ingredients. Add flour and cornstarch and mix until combined and a cookie dough has formed. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add shortbread cookie dough to prepared pan or dish. Spread the dough in an even layer onto the prepared baking pan. Press dough with your hands or with a rubber spatula. Prick the shortbread with a fork all around.

Top with egg wash, sprinkles, and bake. Brush the egg white on to the shortbread until evenly coated, then add sprinkles. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the shortbread has turned a light golden brown. Place the pan on a cooling rack and wait until the shortbread has significantly cooled before removing from baking pan. Cut into 24 bars and enjoy!

Shortbread Cookie bars before they get cut into squares.Pin

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Crowd pleaser: Buttery, flakey, and will melt in your mouth. These bars are everything shortbread should be everyone will absolutely love them.

Portable: These cookies are perfect for any occasion and can be transferred easily by placing cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Pack them up for a picnic, party, lunch box treat, or bring them to work.

Fun holiday treat: Kids and adults will both love these cookies. They are perfect for classroom parties, cookie swaps, cookie holiday platters, holiday cookie exchange, and treat bags for gifts.

Year Round Treat: Just because these have Christmas sprinkle on them doesn’t mean they are just for the holidays. Make them year round by switching out the sprinkles to celebration any holiday or occasion Rainbow sprinkles are always a good option!

Stack of Shortbread Cookie Bars.Pin

Recipe Variations

Jam Shortbread Bars: Swirl in your favorite jam to the bars before baking with a toothpick or knife. This will add a jammy flavor and add small pockets of fruit filling. The bare also look pretty too!

Add Chocolate: Add mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough for a chocolate flavor. You could also top the cooled bars with drizzled dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or a combination.

Add Crunch: Add a handful. of your favorite chopped nuts to the cookie dough or to the top of the bars. Great nut options for these cookie bars are chopped almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans.

Small or Large Bars: I cut these cookies into 24 squares but you can make them mini by cutting them into smaller squares or larger. You can even cut them into triangle shapes if you prefer.

Crunchy vs Soft Shortbread Cookie Bars

You can make your shortbread cookies either crunchy or soft depending on how long you bake them for. Bake cookie bars for about 35 minutes for crunchy bars and 25 minutes for softer bars. Since there isn’t any egg in this recipe, it’s ok to underbake the cookie bars.

Side angle view of shortbread cookies.Pin

Leftovers & Storage

To Store: Place cookie bars in an airtight container or ziplock bag and store for up to 7 days. You can also cover a dish with plastic wrap and store in a cool area.

To Freeze: You can also freeze any leftover cookies for up to 3 months. For best results, let the cookies defrost at room temperature when ready to eat. The best way to enjoy shortbread is when they are at room temperature or warmed.

White plate full of shortbread bars.Pin

Other Christmas Cookie Recipes

Close up of shortbread cookie bar with sprinkles.Pin

Other Easy Cookie Bar Recipes

Side view of shortbread cookie.Pin

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Shortbread Cookie Bars

Buttery Shortbread Cookie Bars will be one of your favorite things to make this holiday season. This delicious and simple recipe is extra easy to make in one bowl with ingredients you most likely already have. These bars are extra buttery, flakey, and oh so tender!
4.42 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shortbread cookie bar recipe, shortbread cookie bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 24 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups salted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white slightly beaten
  • sprinkles of your choice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy and light.
  • Add vanilla extract, and continue mixing until combined.
  • Add flour and cornstarch and mix until combined and a cookie dough has formed. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Spread the dough in an even layer onto the prepared baking pan. Press the dough down with your hands or with a rubber spatula. Prick the shortbread with a fork all around.
  • Brush the egg white on to the shortbread until evenly coated, then add sprinkles. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the shortbread has turned a light golden brown. Place the pan on a cooling rack and wait until the shortbread has significantly cooled before removing from baking pan. Cut into 24 bars and enjoy!
Find Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog on Instagram!Mention @Kathryns.Kitchen.Blog or tag #kathrynskitchen!

Notes

Recipe Notes: 
  • To Make Jam Shortbread Bars: Swirl in your favorite jam to the bars before baking with a toothpick or knife. This will add a jammy flavor and add small pockets of fruit filling. The bare also look pretty too!
  • To Add Chocolate: Add mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough for a chocolate flavor. You could also top the cooled bars with drizzled dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or a combination.
  • To Add Crunch: Add a handful. of your favorite chopped nuts to the cookie dough or to the top of the bars. Great nut options for these cookie bars are chopped almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans.
  • Small or Large Bars: I cut these cookies into 24 squares but you can make them mini by cutting them into smaller squares or larger. You can even cut them into triangle shapes if you prefer.
  • Bake cookie bars for about 35 minutes for crunchy bars and 25 minutes for softer bars.
  • To store leftovers, place cookie bars in an airtight container or ziplock bag and store for up to 7 days. You can also cover a dish with plastic wrap and store in a cool area.

Welcome to #ChristmasCookies Week! That time of year when we soften the butter, fire up the oven, and make cookie trays for family, friends, and neighbors. This year more than 20 top-notch bloggers are sharing their very favorite creations for all to make and enjoy. Join us for a week’s worth of Christmas cookie deliciousness.

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