Classic Shortbread Cookies

This might be a controversial opinion, but my favorite Girl Scout cookies are shortbread cookies. I know! I was as surprised by this as maybe some of you are. And I have to admit that thin mints are a very close second. But there’s just something about those simple, buttery shortbread cookies that I love. They are the perfect cookie to dunk in milk or eat alongside an afternoon cup of coffee or tea. Yum!

This is a classic shortbread cookie recipe, simple and straightforward. It’s not meant to be a copycat version of the Girl Scout cookies. If you see any Girl Scouts selling cookies, you should just buy a few boxes.

I love these classic shortbread cookies. They are truly SO simple with only four ingredients. They turn out flaky, crispy cookies that have that melt-in-your-mouth butter flavor. Just so good!

I think traditional shortbread is usually baked in a square pan or cut into small bars. But I like to take a few extra minutes to roll the dough out and cut with round or fluted cookie cutters, but any shape that will dunk well in a cold glass of milk will do. 🙂

These classic shortbread cookies are also a great cookie to turn into a cookie sandwich—just add an ice cream or Nutella center. But I love them all on their own.

If you wanted to jazz this simple shortbread recipe up a little, you could brown some of the butter or swap out a little of the granulated sugar for brown sugar. But I like them simple and classic best.

And now I want to hear what Girl Scout cookies are your favorites! Thanks for letting me share this recipe. xo. Emma

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5 from 4 votes

Classic Shortbread Cookies

Course Dessert
Author Emma Chapman


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour


  • In a medium size bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Stir in the flour until a crumbly dough forms. Press together. Cover or wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until 1/4 inch thick or even a little thinner. The dough may be crumbly so you may need to press together as you work and roll slowly. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 15-18 cookies.
  • Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool before eating or storing.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • 5 stars
    I just made these and they were wonderful. I’m a beginner at baking cookies. I loved how simple and easy it was to make. I used heart cookie cut outs (: Thanks for the recipe!

  • 5 stars
    This is my family’s favorite cookie. I often make the dough at night and bake fresh cookies for breakfast in the morning. My child really loves them with milk.

  • These look so good! I love the little frilled edges, too- it makes them look a little more special. I am going to have to try this recipe; my husband is crazy about shortbread, so he’d be over the moon to have homemade ones. ☺️

    xoKaelen | Darling Marcelle

  • Woa~ they look yummy, and the recipe looks fun and easy to follow, I might give it a try this weekend 😀

  • 5 stars
    I love shortbread cookies and haven’t any in years! These little ok fairly easy to make. My favorite girls scout cookies are the thin mints.

  • I am not so surprised by your fave girl scout cookie choice! Something classic, versatile, and delicious without being overwhelming checks off a lot of boxes!

    I can’t believe how easy this recipe is. It’s something I feel confident I could do and I’m definitely not a seasoned baker! Can’t wait to make these the instant it drops under the 90’s here!

  • I love shortbread cookies… and these can be storage in the freezer, and just pick up one (or a couple) when you have the NEED!
    Thanks for sharing your recipes! I already have so many of your recipes as everyday (or every week) basics!
    Cheers from Uruguay!

  • Shortbread cookies are my very favorite cookie! I don’t know why that I rarely make them!

    • I just recently started to enjoy shortbread. When I was little, my grandmother made them often for my father, and I never tried them. I wish I had,now! I find that the Girl Scout shortbread has a slight lemony taste, which isn’t appealing to me. I won’t order them again, I’ll stick with my chocolate ones! And possibly try making my own – thank you for the recipe!

  • I’m with you on the Girl Scouts Cookies – love the shortbread the best. Simple is best! Thanks for the recipe! I will search your past recipes, but would also like a perfect gingerbread cookie- my ultimate favorite and there are so many versions, it’s hard to choose. Thanks for all you do!

    • 5 stars
      Good to know! I love a spicy gingerbread cookie and it’s almost the season. 🙂

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