These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They’re the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!
It’s already day six of my Countdown ’til Christmas, Santa is going to be here before we know it! So today I bring you these yummy frosted shortbread Christmas cookies – perfect to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. For Countdown ’til Christmas I’ve been posting a festive recipe a day up until Christmas Eve. Day 1 was Spiced Caramel, Day 2 was a Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake, Day 3 was Peppermint Puppy Chow, Day 4 was Mince Pies and Day 5 was Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake.
Do you have many Christmas traditions with your family? My traditions these days involve splitting my Christmases between the UK and the US, which is nice but it’s always sad to be away from people you care about at Christmas which I inevitably am! Leaving cookies out for Santa is a simple tradition, but I think it’s one a lot of people like to do with their kids. And of course you can’t forget about the glass of milk to wash these Frosted Shortbread Cookies down with and some carrots for the hard working reindeer – who, fun fact, are actually all female if the countless drawings, displays, movies and stories are to be believed! Female reindeer keep their antlers during the winter but males shed them.
As well as the fun of leaving a little gift for Santa and his reindeer, actually making these Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies with your kids can be a lot of fun and a great tradition to pass down. And these cookies are great for that, because they’re nice and easy to make and can be decorate however you like! I kept it simple with festive coloured frostings and sprinkles, but the possibilities are endless! You can even add some festive flavours, like cinnamon or orange.
They’re so yummy too, so saving some for Santa might require hiding a couple away until everybody is going to bed! You, of course, then get to do the fun part of pretending to be Santa and eating up the cookies! One of the perks of being a parent, I’m sure! Not that I’m saying Santa isn’t real….
Of course, you don’t have to share these Frosted Shortbread Cookies with Santa! You can make them for your family, for your Christmas party or to give as gifts (I would only give these ones as gifts that you can hand deliver, they won’t ship well). This is my first time making frosted cookies and I’m definitely a convert, shortbread is my favourite type of cookie hands down and I didn’t think they needed anything else, they shine on their own! But I decided to frost them to make them more festive looking and I’m glad they did, while they still shine beautifully on their own the frosting is just a yummy addition!
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- 250g unsalted butter, softened but not melted
- 60g Icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 300g plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 50g cornflour (cornstarch)
- 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200g icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Red and green food colourings, preferably gel colourings
- Put all the shortbread ingredients in a bowl and beat together until all combined and smooth. You may need to use your hands to gently need it into a dough towards to end.
- Roll the dough into a large ball and flatten into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out cookies with a round cookie cutter, use whatever size you want your cookies they won't spread. Obviously the smaller the cookies the more you'll get and vice versa
- Transfer cookies to the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are light golden brown and the cookies are set to touch.
- Cool on tray for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies are very delicate when warm, so be careful not to break them.
- To make the frosting, add the butter, sugar and vanilla to a bowl and beat together. If using an electric or stand mixer, start off on a slow speed so your kitchen doesn't end up covered in a fine layer of icing sugar! Beat until combined, then increase speed and beat until light and fluffy.
- Separate the frosting into three bowls. Add green dye to one bowl and red to another, leaving the last bowl white. Gel food dye is best for this as you'll need to use much less dye, add a little at a time until you have your desired colour.
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies using an offset spatula or the back side of a spoon. The cookies are much more sturdy once they're cooled, but they're still pretty delicate so use a gentle hand.
- Add sprinkles and any other desired decorations
- Store in airtight container for up to 5 days
- Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the shortbread mixture for a festive kick
- This recipe yielded 16 cookies for me, but how many you get will depend on how thick you roll the dough and how big your cookie cutters are.
- Recipe is easily doubled.