Jan 23


Shortbread Cookie Recipe {& Alice in Wonderland Cookies}

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I have yummy news! I’m ready to share another recipe with you… A recipe I like to use as cookie decorating base… Melt-in-your-mouth, delicious, buttery shortbread.


The taste difference between it and my sugar cookie recipe is subtle, but this one definitely tastes like a traditional shortbread, and *gasp* has one whole cup of cornstarch in it! I couldn’t believe it when I first made it, and was a little doubtful about how successful the recipe would be, but it turns out that the cornstarch in this version of shortbread is what helps give the cookie a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ sensation. Thanks to my dear friend Kim whom I adore, for sharing her family’s recipe with me… She’s not on-line, but she’s crazy about baking too, and we’ve experienced many sweet adventures together.

The original shortbread isn’t made with cornstarch and has quite an interesting history, b.t.w., and as it’s often served with tea, I thought it would be fun to make a few Alice in Wonderland decorated cookies with it.

Once Upon A Cookie

Kind of fitting with the whole tea time thing, are these Alice in Wonderland cookies. I can’t wait to make a whole series of other Alice characters, but for now I’m excited to be starting a series of just princess cookies copied from this piece of art. {Thank you, suisei-ojii-sama!} It’s the beginning of another theme I’m looking forward to playing around with… Cookies based on fairy tales, fables and nursery rhymes. There are so many inspirational images and characters out there, I’m looking forward to getting going on these! Besides making a fairytale or fable princess cookie or two each month, I’d like to also do a more extensive collection here and there, like Jack and Jill nursery rhyme cookies.

Do you have a fairytale, fable or nursery rhyme favorite? Which would you like to see cookies made of? Do you have any beautiful images of your favorites you’d like to share?

I haven’t forgotten about the travel theme either… Thanks so much for your amazing suggestions! I have so many great ideas now, thanks to you!

And before I share the yum, yum, yum shortbread cookie recipe, if you’re here trying to decide which recipe you’d like to try for your decorated cookies, I thought I’d do a little comparison between two similar recipes for you, shortbread and sugar cookies.

Cookie Recipe Comparison – Shortbread and Sugar Cookies

I noticed a few key differences between this shortbread and my sugar cookie recipe, which I’ll share with you in case you’d like to make them too:

  • The texture of the shortbread dough after mixing is smooth and easy to eat work with. The sugar cookie recipe is a stickier dough, and needs to be rolled between parchment and chilled to be able to work with. The taste is worth it though! Both taste scrumptious, in my humble opinion, but the shortbread cookie is easier to make and work with.
  • The shortbread melt-in-your mouth taste is yummy, but it means the cookies break easier, unfortunately. They’re fine to serve in a bakery, for a function, give to friends etc., but if I were shipping cookies, I would choose the sugar cookie recipe.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it out:

Shortbread Cookie {Recipe}

{Click to print}


Sweet of the Month & Other Sweet Tidbits

A few sweet morsels of information I’d love to share with you:

  • The Alice cookie shape was made by hand cutting the dough with a paring knife. Easy enough to do if you’re only doing a few cookies, but a heads-up in case you don’t already know, time-consuming if you’re doing a lot of them. There’s got to be a cutter out there you could use though (drop me a line please if you see one), or even just pipe her on a rectangular cookie.
  • I used a Kopykake projector to help me pipe Alice’s shape.
  • Click here for the royal icing recipe I used.
  • Wouldn’t these adorable Alice in Wonderland printables from The TomKat Studio be perfect for a Wonderland party?! I’m thinking that when I make Alice cookies again (with more of the characters and images), I’ll need to attach these sweet tags from TomKat’s shop to the cookie bags.
  • If you’d like to make these Alice cookies as a gift, but don’t have the time to make too many, wouldn’t these be a nice added touch? Just had to share with you!
  • A new Sweet of the Month is up! I’ve changed it to monthly in order to give you more time to vote and more time to prepare if you’re interested in entering. You can find more information on the Sweet of the Month in the FAQ section and can vote for your favorite sweets HERE until February 18th, and if you’d like to enter into the next contest, watch out for a post announcing the dates. I’m thinking maybe we’ll make the next one a Spring/Easter theme.

Drop me a line below, do you have a fairytale, fable or nursery rhyme favorite? Which would you like to see cookies made of? Do you have any beautiful images of your favorites you’d like to share?

Have fun baking!





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  1. E
    September 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Just wondering what does this taste like if you add 1 egg? will it still be decent tasting but stronger? Thanks

  2. Marian
    October 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Marian, Have you tried this recipe with flavoring? If so, can you add too much? Also have you tried this recipe with salted butter?

  3. October 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    i have never decorated cookies with this type of icing. If I use your recipe, will it dry hard to where I can stack them, maybe with wax paper in between ? or is it sticky?

  4. December 2, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    What is the shelf life for these cookies? I’ve been asked to create cookies for a large department store but I use a sugar cookie recipe that has a shorter shelf life. I need a good recipe that can be decorated and last for 4-6 months without refrigeration. Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance for you help!

  5. becca
    January 3, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    Thanks for the tips! I tried making shortbread cookies so many times and they never came out the way I wanted. This time I added cornstarch tho… they cookies spread out soon much for some reason. They tasted fine, but they were so “out of shape”:( I did put the dough in the fridge before baking. I wonder what went wrong?

    Thank you!

  6. January 13, 2016 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Marian! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ve made these once, and they were perfect! I want to make them again, but I was wondering if I can make the dough and put it in the fridge overnight, and use it within the next day. Will it get dry or soggy?
    Thank you in advance! 😉

    • Marian
      August 24, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Hi Nadia,
      Sorry i missed your question earlier.
      You can put the dough in the fridge overnight no problem, just make sure it’s air tight.

  7. I checked them an hour later and they had gone soft... Help! What did I do wrong? I will have to bake again in the morning or can I salvage the ones I have made?
    May 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I have recently made a number of cookies. Let them cool and stored in an air tight container. I took a day icing flooding about 50. I waited for them to dry. Stored them in an airtight container as suggested in your site. I checked them an hour later and they had gone soft… Help! Can I salvage them or will I need to remake?

    • marian
      May 17, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Hi Naomi,

      Take the cookies out of the container and place them on baking sheets to dry again. They should firm up. The humidity in the air does affect drying… If it’s humid where you’re living now, I would suggest putting a dehumidifier in the room. Put them in individual cellophane bags once they’re dry – that will help minimize moisture during storage.

      I hope that helps!

  8. Judy
    September 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi, beautiful cookies. I noticed that none of the Pin It buttons seems to be working, I’m on a Mac not sure if that has anything to do with it.

    • marian
      September 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Hi Judy,

      Thanks for letting me know! I’m on a Mac too and was just able to pin… I’m not sure what’s going on? Maybe the page needs another minute to load? Thanks again!

  9. December 6, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Around how many cookies do they come out from this recipe? Thanks

    • marian
      December 7, 2016 at 2:54 am | Permalink

      Hi Carolina,
      About 30-40 average sized cookies.

  10. Nina Madrid
    December 7, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Hoping you can help me! I’ve made these cookies several times and they are amazing! I am having one issue though. The backside of my cookies form little holes or air pockets while baking. The tops bake up smooth and I am able to ice them nicely. Is there a solution for this or am I missing something? Thanks!

  11. December 7, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Hi Nina,

    Yes, the back side of my cut out cookies look like that too. 🙂 Happy decorating!

  12. January 26, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Hello! I’m planning on baking some of these with my daughter later (have the butter softening now) but I only have salted butter…I saw another question on the same thing that was never answered. Any concerns? Also, your cookies are beautiful, but I’m hung up on that awesome pocket watch!

  13. Beth
    January 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    In your shortbread cut out cookie recipe, do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  14. Sonia Rocha
    April 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I love your cookies!!! since the first time i saw your website i love all your works. I have to thank you, because i made cookies with your recipe, obiously my cookies are very far from yours, but the flavor is delicious. Thanks for this blog.

    • marian
      April 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Awwww thanks!!

  15. Laura
    November 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi just noticed your instructions doesnt say how long to keep them in the oven

    • November 26, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Laura,

      It will depend on the size and thickness of your cookie, but 7-12 minutes should do it. You’re looking for the middle to no longer look wet and the edges to be slightly golden.

  16. Paula Moses
    February 17, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Is the butter called for in this recipe salted or unsalted?

    • marian
      February 19, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I use unsalted, but you could use salted, it still tastes good.

  17. olivia
    May 21, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    ahh!! so cuteee! you make the best cookies 🙂 ❤️ I have to try making this when I get good at baking like you >< can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂 My friends and family are going to love it. Thank you !

    • marian
      May 27, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Aww thanks so much Olivia!

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