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5 from 5 votes
Christmas Wreath Shortbread Cookies
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins

Beautiful, easy and delicious, these buttery Christmas Wreath Shortbread Cookies are a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe with an easy, fun decorating technique.

Course: Dessert/Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas Wreath Shortbread Cookies, Easy Decorated Christmas Shortbread Cookies, Holiday cookies, Shortbread cookies
Servings: 24
Calories: 153 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the cookies:
  • 8 ounces very soft salted butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons half and half
  • ¼-½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • green liquid food coloring two shades
For the fondant bows: (optional)
  • red buttercream fondant
  • fondant bow mold
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 well blended.
  3. Add the flour and cornstarch. Stir until dry ingredients are mostly incorporated. The dough will be a little shaggy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a ball. Knead 5-6 times until fairly smooth and all the small pieces are worked in. Form into a ball again and flatten with your hand to form a flat disk.
  5. Turn the disk to coat both sides with flour. Roll out the dough to an approximate ¼-inch thickness (see Café Tips above in the post). Keep work surface, dough and rolling pin lightly dusted with flour.
  6. With a round scalloped or fluted cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and transfer to them to the prepared pans with a thin, metal spatula. Re-roll scraps as many times as needed to use up the dough.
  7. Center a smaller round scalloped or fluted cookie cutter on each larger circle and cut out the center or “opening” of each wreath. Do not try to remove the centers at this time (It’s easy to mess up the dough if you try to remove the centers now.)
  8. Place cutouts in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
  9. Once cookies are chilled, slip your finger underneath and push out the centers. Place them on the sheet pan and bake along with the wreaths for pretty little bite-size cookies.
  10. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Repeat with the second pan of cutouts. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
For the glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons half and half (or milk) and extract in a medium-size bowl. Mix until smooth. The glaze should be fairly thick, but pourable. Add a little more half and half (or milk) if it's too thick, a little more powdered sugar if it's too thin. Taste the glaze and add more extract, if a more intense flavor is desired.

  2. Transfer the glaze to a small shallow bowl (a little larger than your cookies). Using two shades of liquid green food color, add two drops of each to the icing. Swirl greens together with a toothpick until most of the white has disappeared and the surface of the icing is a swirled green.

  3. Hold onto the edges of a cookie and dip the top surface into the glaze, being sure all of the surface touches the glaze. Pull cookie straight up out of the glaze and over to the drip bowl.
  4. Allow excess glaze to drip for about 15-20 seconds. When dripping slows down, quickly flip the cookie to the right side up and give it a gentle jiggle to allow the glaze to flow evenly over the surface. Sprinkle cookies with nonpareils.
  5. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place cookies on a cooling rack and add the fondant bows, if desired. Allow the glaze to dry for at least an hour before transferring to a storage container.
For the fondant bows:
  1. See the tutorial above in the post
Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions, tips as well as links for the rolling pin, cookie cutters, buttercream fondant and fondant mold.

See the tutorial above in the post for a visual demonstration of how to make and decorate these cookies.

Recipe Notes Makes 20-24 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.

Nutrition Facts
Christmas Wreath Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 153 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 21mg7%
Sodium 69mg3%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 245IU5%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.