How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread

Whipped Shortbread

Over the years I have finally perfect my Whipped Shortbread Recipe to the point where I think I won’t fiddle around with it anymore.

Even though I am sure that many people in the Canadian Food Experience Project are writing about shortbread, for me it’s a change of pace. Usually when someone asks me about my treasured Christmas recipe, it’s all about my Grandma’s Christmas Pudding. While that is one hundred percent a family favorite, whipped shortbread has always and I do mean always been something that my family bakes at Christmas. It seems to be something that a lot of Canadian Prairie folk make at Christmas as well.

It’s never any other shortbread than whipped. Ever. This is all that graces our dessert tables at Christmas for shortbread. I have made the other kind but have no interest in making traditional again anytime soon as it’s just not the same.

Whipped Shortbread

The reason I chose to write about shortbread is because over the years I have taken our family recipe and tweaked how to make it, resulting in the best whipped shortbread my family has ever made.

  • Whipped shortbread is notoriously fragile and while using cookie presses are so much fun, when I gifted the shortbread I wanted it to stay together a bit more. After experimenting, I found that the best way to make it is using a cookie scoop. The rounded dome and thickness helps these airy bites of buttery delight stay together much better than being dropped by the teaspoonful or shapes from a cookie press.
  • Whipping it for at least 6 minutes is also mandatory; most people don’t whip it long enough and then it’s just not as airy as it should be. These cookies should literally melt in your mouth.
  • We never have used cornstarch and never will. I find it gives a weird mouth feel to it that I don’t like.
  • Baking it a low temperature is the way my family has always made it. We dry it out, like a meringue, and don’t bake it so much. Most recipes are 350 degrees but we have always baked it at 250. However over the years I have found that 275 works the best. This also helps the shortbread melt in your mouth instead of baking up a little bit harder which is what baking it at 350 is going to do.
  • Also – and purists are going to argue with me- we have always used half margarine and half butter. Always. Just like my buttertarts we have run taste tests and sampled and baked and it’s always half and half that wins the taste test. We aren’t purists, we are about taste. What’s the use having all butter and it doesn’t taste as good just to be a purist?  Try it and see what you think, get a good tasting margarine and I bet you’ll love them. Let’s face it, it’s not like they are healthy for us anyway, the cookies may as well taste as good as possible!
  • If you use a hard margarine, it helps to keep the dome shape. Do NOT use light margarine or whipped butters or any “tub” margarine. The water content will flatten these cookies! You need the blocks of margarine.
  • You can use all butter for taste if you like, but the secret to the dome shape is the hard margarine used.

Without further adieu, here is my whipped shortbread recipe!

Happy Baking everyone!

Love,

Karlynn

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How To Make Perfect Whipped Shortbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
How to make perfect whipped shortbread!
Author:
Cuisine: Christmas, cookies
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of salted butter
  • ½ cup of hard margarine
  • ½ cup of icing sugar
  • 1½ cups of flour
Instructions
  1. Whip the margarine, butter and icing sugar together well. You can use all butter for sure,then it is a shortbread for the purist.
  2. Once it looks all deliciously creamy, resist from eating it by the spoonful, and get your flour ready.
  3. Start the mixer and slowly add in the flour, until it has all been added in.
  4. Then you can proceed to let your mixer do all the work for you and whip it for 6 minutes. You are wanting lighter than air shortbread here.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough out onto an ungreased baking sheet. Top with sprinkles or a piece of Christmas cherry.
  6. Bake them in a 275 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes you want to dry out shortbread in essence, not bake it, thus the low temperature.
  7. (If you have a warm kitchen or live in a warm climate, cool the cookies in the fridge then bake. They won't flatten out)

 

 

 

 

60 comments
Krystle
Krystle

Thee cookies are perfection. This is my second year making them for Christmas. My husband is so picky with shortbread, and this recipe takes the cake- he loves them!

Zayga
Zayga

This recipe is from heaven. Thank you X 1,000 for sharing Karlynn. And I'm going to kick my neighbor's butt in the shortbread bake-off!!

Kim Brown-Laplante
Kim Brown-Laplante

Made these today!!!! So yummy. Will be making another batch next week:)

lisa
lisa

I just made these this morning!! So delicious and melt in your mouth goodness. I used all butter because margarine is nasty stuff.

Kim Brown-Laplante
Kim Brown-Laplante

Awesome!!! I have a cookie exchange next week and I need 7 dozen:). Thanks:)

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Oh a good 3 dozen but I always double it! If you're bothering to make the mess, just double it!

Elaine Aschenmeier
Elaine Aschenmeier

I love whipped shortbread! I used to make lots of it for Christmas!

Joy Vieira Velozo
Joy Vieira Velozo

Question ... Sitting here eating the cookies and wondering if you've ever substituted cocoa powder for part of the flour to make a whipped chocolate shortbread? If so, does the cocoa make them heavier or change the texture?

Joy Vieira Velozo
Joy Vieira Velozo

They are fantastic! Melt in your mouth,my 10 yr old loves them. thank you for sharing the recipe :)

Linda E Zavitz
Linda E Zavitz

These are great I made them last year and will be again in the next few days! Thanks!

Kristine051
Kristine051

I have tried this recipe three times and each time once half margarine and twice all butter as the husband didn't like the margarine taste,they come out flat and start to really brown on the edges.My question is how do you get them so plump and round? Is it really just the cookie scoop? as i have refrigerated the dough and then rolled in to balls but didn't have cherries to put on top, does that make a difference too? any help getting them plump like the picture would be terrific.

Thank You!

Kristine

CheriSmith
CheriSmith

Can you use self raising flour or should it be all purpose?


MSinNS
MSinNS

So sad...I consider myself a baker but this recipe went completely flat, used the proper ingredients and my kitchen definitely wasn't warm here in Nova Scotia. Back to my rolled out shortbreads. Sad to have wasted all that butter! I tried 2 batches with the same results.

KassiaVause
KassiaVause

I know this has been asked but I don't think it has been answered. Id love to try these, but I refuse to use margarine, has anyone done with just butter and had success?

dawn
dawn

What mixer attachment do you use to whip?  The wire whisk or the paddle?

flamgbant
flamgbant

I was wondering how did u get them to stay so rounded   dome like ,  mind melted down thing    still very good tasting mind u   I would just like to have them stay  this way 

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

Salted butter and any margarine that has a good taste to it and is solid, not really light.

Alyson
Alyson

I want to try and make these as well... I like the question someone posted, what kind of margarine and salted or unsalted butter?

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

Nope, just add it, doesn't make a stitch of difference since you whip it so long.

JoanneEverson
JoanneEverson

Hi, does the icing sugar and flour need to be sifted before being added?

Amanda
Amanda

Have you ever made them with all butter instead of margarine and butter? Just wondering if they would turn out this way b/c I only have butter :)


Valerie
Valerie

I'd like to try these.   Not sure ... is it 1 tsp. or a cookie scoop full.  Seems like the size would be considerably different, thus the baking time different as well.

Sherry
Sherry

Can I use this recipe for pie crust ?

Sherry
Sherry

Can you use this recipe for pie crust ?

DebraAnnMatheson
DebraAnnMatheson

im confused about step 6&7? almost the same step but slighly different??

Rona Labiuk
Rona Labiuk

I'm making this one now and so far so good and still in the oven. I love it

nimish
nimish

Dang autocorrect, it should have said press friendly

nimish
nimish

Is this recipe at all pies friendly, I know you said you don't use one but I press about half of mime for gifts.

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Most likely for a silky feel to the cookie. I just find it bugs me lol!

Lee-Ann Sewell Chin
Lee-Ann Sewell Chin

Do you know why there is corn starch in the original recipes? *curious*

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Kristine051 Your oven could be running hotter, that happens for sure with new ovens. Try at 250 but I use a HARD margarine in mine, which when refrigerated can make a difference. The low water content makes a difference. Try adding another 1/4 cup of flour and see if that helps.

Kristine051
Kristine051

oh forgot to mention I also baked it at 275 for 30 minutes before the edges stated to really brown. It is also a brand new oven

flamgbant
flamgbant

@KassiaVause I have made them just the other day with all butter and they turned out great, and I made a batch with butter and margarine, personally I didn't find any difference, they were delish.

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@dawn  Use the paddle, whisk attachments are always for liquids only or you would bend/ break them.

Amy
Amy

@flamgbant Make sure it's a cookie scoop and then try putting them in the fridge to cool down. If you live somewhere warm or have a warm kitchen they can flatten.

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Valerie It's a small cookie scoop (which is really close to a heaping teaspoon)  and I actually have upped the temperature to 275 to compensate for the larger size. The original family recipe is bake at 250, which I find too low. The dome shape is what helps them stay together rather than plopping a heaping tsp on the sheet.

flamgbant
flamgbant

@Amy @flamgbant ok awesome thanks  so much,  yeah I did use a cookie scoop   and they were soft  going in the oven ,  I will try  cooling them down  next time I make them.  thanks  again  they are delish