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+ servings
5 from 8 votes
Close up vertical picture of easy decorated Christmas cookies
Easy Decorated Christmas Shortbread Cookies
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
34 mins
Total Time
59 mins
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Christmas Cookies, Easy Decorated Christmas Cookies, Easy Decorated Christmas Shortbread Cookies
Servings: 16
Calories: 185 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the cookies:
  • 8 ounces very soft salted butter 2 sticks
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
For the mint glaze;
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons half and half or milk, maybe more
  • ¼-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • blue paste food coloring I used Wilton Delphinium Blue
For the buttercream piping:
For the cookies:
  1. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place soft butter in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until nice and smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix together by hand for about 30 seconds, until fluffy and well blended.
  3. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch evenly over the top. Stir until flour is incorporated and the dough is shaggy. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and press dough in a ball. Knead a few times until fairly smooth then form into a ball again and press with your hands into a flat disk.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a ⅜-inch thickness. Keep work surface, dough and rolling pin lightly dusted with flour. Cut circles and place on prepared pans. Re-roll scraps as many times as needed to use up the dough.
  5. Place cutouts in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove cookies from refrigerator and bake for 12-16 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Rotate pans halfway through for even browning. Cool completely before icing.

For the mint glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, half and half and ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract in a medium-size bowl. Mix until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable. Add a little more half and half if too thick. Taste the glaze and add more peppermint extract, if needed (see note above in the post). Dip the tip of a small knife into the blue food coloring and swirl some of it into the icing. Stir well and add more food color until desired shade of blue is achieved. Transfer the glaze to a shallow bowl.

To glaze the cookies:
  1. Holding onto the edges of a cookie, dip the top surface into the glaze, being sure all of the surfaces touches the glaze. Pull cookie up and out of the glaze. Allow excess glaze to drip back into a separate bowl. When glaze stops dripping, quickly flip the cookie right side up and give it a gentle jiggle to allow the glaze to flow evenly over the surface. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow glaze to dry for 15-30 minutes.
  2. For the buttercream piping:
  3. Place butter in a medium-size bowl and stir until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons half and half and mint extract and stir vigorously until smooth, adding a bit more half and half if needed to achieve a fairly thick but smooth consistency.
  4. Place buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a small round icing tip (I used a Wilton #5 round tip). Starting at the upper edge of one cookie, pipe the Christmas trees by making lines that are increasingly wider, stopping about ¼-inch above the lower edge of the cookie (see pictures above). Immediately sprinkle trees with a few more white nonpareils. Set aside to dry.

  5. See Café Tips above for lots of extra tips and instructions.
Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above for lots of extra tips and instructions. The recipe makes 15 large (3-inch) or two dozen smaller (2-inch) cookies.

The recipe makes 15 large (3-inch) or two dozen smaller (2-inch) cookies.

Once cookies have been dried for several hours, they can be stacked in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Decorated Christmas Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 185 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 109mg5%
Potassium 20mg1%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.