This Shortbread Cut Out Cookies Recipe is perfect for embossed rolling pins. The designs from the rolling pin come out clear and crisp every time!

This recipe costs $2.21 to make. However, it makes thirty-six cookies for only $0.06 per cookie. 

Christmas Shortbread Cookies a red serving bowl.

Beautiful Shortbread Christmas Cookies

Shortbread Cookies are a fabulous addition to any cookie tray. But when you take the extra step of using an embossed rolling pin to stamp a design on top of the dough, the cookies look amazing with a beautiful pattern.

This one little step will step up your shortbread cookie game! And what I love about this recipe is that you don’t have to chill the dough!

After mixing the dough, you do right into rolling it out and then embossing and cutting the dough! How easy is that?!

Using an embossed rolling pin for Christmas Shortbread Cookies

An embossed rolling pin is similar to a regular rolling pin but with a design on it. It allows you to make these pretty cookies with minimal effort.

It truly is a fun way to decorate cookies. You can begin to collect a few different designs and get creative with your cookie baking. 

These cookies are perfect on a tray for gifting during the holiday season, but when you add them to your cookie stamps collection, you can make them year-round. Butter-based with a slight crunch and a beautiful design, make these the perfect cookies! 

  • Shortbread cookies are a classic Christmas treat. They are delicious and easy to make, and you can decorate them in various ways to make them festive.
  • Shortbread cookies are a great gift for friends and family. They are a delicious and personal gift that is sure to be appreciated.
  • Shortbread cookies are the perfect canvas for embossed designs. Shortbread dough is firm and easy to roll out, making it ideal for imprinting with a rolling pin.

Christmas Shortbread Cookie Recipe Ingredients and Estimated Cost:

Per Serving Cost: $0.06

Recipe Cost: $2.21

  • ¾ cups unsalted butter – $1.20
  • ¾ cups powdered sugar – $0.21
  • 1 large egg – $0.10
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract – $0.15
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract – $0.06
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour – $0.48
  • ¼ teaspoon salt $0.01

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How to make Christmas Shortbread Cookies

  1. First, preheat the oven and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Next, make the shortbread dough. 
  3. Form the dough into a ball. 
  4. Divide the dough in half, and roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is ¼ inch think. 
  5. Use the embossed rolling pin to roll over the dough. 
  6. Cut the dough into circles using a 2-inch round cookie cutter. 
  7. Place the cookies on the baking sheets and bake for 6-10 minutes. 
  8. Finally, let the cookies cool completely before serving. 

A picture collage showing how to make this Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe.

  • If you don’t like almond extract, then you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.
  • Please don’t use anything but butter in this Shortbread Cookie recipe. To get the proper shortbread texture, you need real butter. Please don’t use margarine, vegetable shortening, or anything else.
  • The same goes for the sugar. To get that fine crumb that just melts in your mouth, you need to use powdered sugar.

Storing Shortbread Christmas Cookies

SERVE: Serve the cookies once they have cooled.

STORE: Store the Embossed Shortbread Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.

FREEZE: Once the cookies have cooled, transfer them to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for 1-2 months.

DEFROST: Defrost the Christmas Shortbread Cookies at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.

Tools you’ll need for this Shortbread Christmas Cookie Recipe

  • Embossed Rolling Pin
  • 2-inch round cookie cutter
  • Baking sheets
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Wire racks
  • Measuring cups and spoons
An overhead picture of the finished Embossed Shortbread Cookies on a wire cooling rack with two mugs of hot chocolate in the background.

Shortbread Cut Out Cookies Recipe FAQs:

What is the difference between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie?

Sugar cookies are a lighter dough that is better for cutting and decorating. We all love decorating Christmas Cookies, and sugar cookie dough is best for that. Shortbread cookies, on the other hand, are denser.

Sugar cookies are traditionally sweeter tasting than Shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are made with more butter, so they have a richer taste. The essential ingredients are the same for both cookies, but the ratios are different, producing two different cookies, but both are delicious!

Should shortbread cookies be soft out of the oven?

Shortbread cookies are not soft and chewy like other cookies. Instead, they have a buttery and crunchy texture when they are done baking.

More Cookies:

A bowl full of Embossed Shortbread Cookies.
4.03 from 68 votes

Shortbread Cut Out Cookies

Recipe Cost $ $2.21
Serving Cost $ $0.06
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
36 cookies
This Christmas Shortbread Cookie Recipe is perfect for embossed rolling pins. The designs from the rolling pin come out clear and crisp every time!


  • Embossed Rolling Pin
  • 2-inch round cookie cutter
  • baking sheets
  • stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • wire racks
  • measuring cups and spoons




  • Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.


  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.
  • Add egg and extracts, and cream until well combined.
  • In another bowl whisk together salt and flour.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well.


  • Form dough into a ball, and divide it in half.
  • Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough with a standard rolling pin to about ¼ inch thick.


  • Using the embossed rolling pin, gently press and roll over dough.
  • Cut dough into circles using a 2-inch round cookie cutter.
  • Place the shortbread rounds on the prepared baking sheet spacing them 1 inch apart.


  • Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 6-10 minutes or until the shortbread is light golden brown.
  • Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.



If you don’t like almond extract, then you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 126IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

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The finished Embossed Shortbread Cookies recipe in a red serving bowl.

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Recipe Rating


  1. These look so beautiful.

  2. These cookies turned out perfect. It was the perfect batter to roll out.

  3. As a person who is not a frosted cookie fan, these are perfect. Beautiful and delicious!

  4. This is perfect for gifts! I will save this recipe for Christmas, thanks for sharing!

  5. I’ve seen these rollers in the stores. Now after seeing your cookies, I have to get one to make them!

  6. Thank you!! The cookies came out perfectly and look beautifully! I really appreciated the easy to follow instructions.

  7. Really easy, delicious shortbread cookies.

  8. I would like to make these with chocolate, do you know how much cocoa I would need to add?

    1. Hi Brenda, I haven’t tried this recipe yet with cocoa powder (but it’s been on my list to do), but when I do try it, I plan on taking out 1/2 cup of flour and replacing it with 1/2 cup of dark cocoa powder (like Hershey’s).

  9. Deb Thomas says:

    Great recipe but cookies were dry and crumbly before baking. I moistened my hands to add some moisture to the dough which helped. When baked, the embossment turned out great which I am very pleased with. Not much flavor, a bit on the bland side. Next time I will add more extract than called for which will probably help with the dry dough as well. I will use this recipe again.

  10. Can I make ahead and freeze?

    1. You bet. In my “Storage Tips” section, I have instructions for freezing.

  11. Elizabeth Anderson says:

    I have an embossing rolling pin, and this recipe was perfect! The small designs came out very clearly. I was wondering if there is any type of a thin glaze that could be applied before or after baking to give then some shine and a little added flavor? Thanks!

  12. I’m going to try this with a springerle mold I just purchased. I’m hoping it works!
    Do you think the design will still stand out if I dip the cookies in chocolate?

    1. It will depend on how deep the grooves are and how thin the chocolate dip is. But my gut is telling me you’re definitely going to lose a lot of the definition fo the design. If you try it out, come back and let me know how it goes!

  13. This was a very easy, straightforward recipe! I made it with my 1, 2, and 3 year old children and used a nativity embossed rolling pin and crimped rotary pastry cutter. It was so much simpler than using multiple cookie cutters with eager helpers– and they still loved it! The cookies definitely held their shape and the design was very clear. My husband really enjoyed the taste as well, so a win all around! Thanks!

  14. I just took last sheet out of the oven and of course I had to taste test them. I’ve never made shortbread cookies before so I wasn’t sure what sweetness level should be. There’s a hint of sweetness but it’s subtle. A very nice contrast to all the sweets we are inundated with this time of year. I’LL DEFINITELY MAKE THESE AGAIN. BTW….I picked up my embossed rolling pin at a thrift store for under a dollar.

    1. Dayna Jankowski says:

      Sounds like a great deal! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this recipe:)

  15. Fantastic recipe. I have never used my embossed rolling pin before, and I used it for the first time with this recipe. The design came through perfectly and the shape held flawless through baking (10 mins).
    Reading through the comments, I noticed the 1/2 cup cocoa substitution and I tried that, and it worked! I must admit I was a bit skeptical since I did not think the embossing would show without chilling, but this recipe works.
    Thank you so much for the cocoa sub recommendation and such a great recipe. I have pinned this to make again. Anyone looking for an embossed rolling pin cookie recipe, look no further this is a winner.

    1. Dayna Jankowski says:

      Thank you for taking the time to write this review! I appreciate it:)

  16. A perfect recipe for embossed cookies and rolling pins. I tried as per the recipe and as per the cocoa sub noted in the comment, worked perfectly both times. the design of the rolling pin came through great and tasty shortbread too. thank you

    1. Dayna Jankowski says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  17. Diane Irby says:

    Awesome cookies. I put mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes so the emboss is more defined.
    These cookies aren’t really sweet. They are just right. They are delicious with lemon extract added.