fbpx

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.

These buttery Christmas shortbread cookies feature a peppermint bark topping of chocolate ganache and crushed candy canes. Celebrate the season with these irresistibly-tender, holiday shortbread cookies.

📌 PIN PEPPERMINT BARK COOKIES

Christmas shortbread cookies topped with peppermint bark (chocolate ganache plus crushed candy canes).

🎅🏻 Why We Love THESE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

  • BAKED FROM SCRATCH: These Christmas shortbread cookies are made from scratch with delicious fresh ingredients. They’re bakery-quality treats that look and taste like they were made by a pastry chef.
  • EASY RECIPE: These peppermint bark cookies come together quickly. Make and form the dough in 20 minutes. Chill the cookies before baking. For the chocolate ganache topping, simply microwave the heavy cream and chocolate for 1 minute then whisk until smooth.
  • SUPER FESTIVE: Holiday shortbread cookies topped with luscious chocolate ganache and pieces of striped candy canes have a special vibe that says Merry Christmas.
  • PERFECT FOR GIFT GIVING: These treats look exceptional on a dessert tray, either alone or as part of a Christmas cookies platter. You can also slip them into cellophane bags and tie them closed with ribbon.
A hand holding a peppermint bark cookie.

These holiday shortbread cookies taste like Christmas! Serve them on a special, festive Christmas napkin. I buy mine at Home Goods. Enjoy these treats with hot cocoa bombs, coffee, tea or milk.

A bite taken out of a peppermint bark cookie.

🛒 Ingredients

  • Salted Butter: The base of our shortbread cookies. It adds delicious richness, creaminess and structure. As this is the main ingredient, use a high-quality butter like Tillamook or Costco’s Kirkland brand.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds the perfect amount of sweetness. Keep in mind, shortbread cookies are far less sweet than sugar cookies.
  • Large Egg: Helps bind the cookie dough together.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • All-purpose Flour: Provides the cookies with structure. Make sure to use the fluff/spoon/level method for measuring it.
  • Kosher Salt: We use this seasoning to balance the flavor of these Christmas shortbread cookies so they don’t taste bland.

Peppermint Bark Topping

  • Premium Chocolate Baking Bar: For excellent-tasting ganache it’s important to use good-quality chocolate. My preference is Ghirardelli, because it’s high-quality chocolate that’s easy to find at most grocery stores (including Walmart) and won’t break the bank.
  • Heavy Cream: Thins out the chocolate and helps it melt smoothly. For thicker ganache, use less heavy cream.
  • Candy Canes: If you don’t have these on hand, use Starlight peppermints instead.
  • Maldon Flaky Salt (optional): Enhances the flavor of chocolate.
Ingredients for shortbread Christmas cookies recipe.

📖 RECIPE STEPS

RECIPE PREP: Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or reusable silicone baking mats. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • STEP 1: Add softened butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • STEP 2: Add in the egg and vanilla. Mix to incorporate. Gradually add in the flour. Mix just until the dough comes together into a ball around the paddle. (In humid environments, like the coast of Mexico, the dough may be very soft, light and fluffy. Add in a bit more flour as needed.)
  • STEP 3: Scoop out 2-tablespoon-sized portions. Roll them into smooth balls. Arrange the pieces (at least 2-inches apart) on the prepared baking trays. Press down on each ball to form a 1/2-inch thick disk. Transfer the tray of cookie dough to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes, or chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • STEP 4: Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or just until the bottoms are beginning to turn golden blonde and the tops are still pale. Remove from the oven. Let them cool completely before topping with ganache.

KITCHEN TIP: When the baking tray is no longer hot – just slightly warm to the touch, you can transfer the whole tray of cookies into the freezer or fridge for about 10 minutes to assist with the cooling process.

How to make holiday shortbread cookies in 4 easy steps.

Make Peppermint Bark Topping

  • STEP 1: To make chocolate ganache*, add the 2 bars of chopped chocolate and 1/2 cup heavy cream to a heat-safe bowl or glass Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate has not fully melted, microwave 15 seconds more.
  • STEP 2: Depending on the thickness of the ganache, either dip the top of the cookies into the chocolate, or spread chocolate over the surface of the cookies with a spoon. Before the chocolate sets, lightly sprinkle with flaky salt and then garnish the top with crushed candy canes.
  • STEP 3: Slip the tray of cookies into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes (or into the fridge for 20 minutes) – until the ganache is set. Enjoy these Christmas shortbread cookies on the day they’re made, or place them inside an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

*FOR THINNER GANACHE: Use an extra 1/2 cup heavy cream.

How to make chocolate ganache topping and decorate peppermint bark shortbread cookies.

🤔 RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions for the BEST Christmas shortbread cookies, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

Are shortbread cookies the same as sugar cookies?

They’re similar but not the same. Sugar cookies are lighter and sweeter than shortbread cookies. Shortbread cookies are similar to a short crust pastry. They’re a bit denser, lightly sweet, with a soft buttery crumb.

Can I make shortbread cookie dough in advance?

Yes. Wrap the dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. To freeze the dough, form it into flat round pucks (ready-to-bake cookies). Arrange them inside a (parchment-paper-lined) airtight container. To stack the pucks, layer them between sheets of parchment paper. Freeze up to 1 month.

How to coat peppermint bark cookies with white chocolate?

Chop up two 4-ounce white chocolate baking bars. Add them to a heat-safe bowl with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each session until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Drop each cookie into the white chocolate mixture and lift with a candy dipping tool. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Transfer to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to solidify the coating.

Christmas shortbread cookies arranged on a serving tray with extra chocolate ganache and crushed candy canes.

MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES

If you love easy and delicious Christmas recipes, you’ll really enjoy these holiday favorites. To save the recipes for later, pin them to Pinterest.

Holiday shortbread cookies served with milk.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers said these are the BEST Christmas shortbread cookies. They loved the soft buttery texture of the cookies, and the festive peppermint bark topping with a sprinkling of flaky salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Christmas shortbread cookies on a ceramic serving tray.

If you agree these peppermint bark cookies are a must-have treat for holiday cookie platters, give them a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Christmas shortbread cookies topped with peppermint bark (chocolate ganache plus crushed candy canes).

Christmas Shortbread Cookies


Description

Ring in the holidays with these Christmas shortbread cookies. Tender and buttery, they boast a peppermint bark coating that’s irresistibly tasty and super festive. Add them to your holiday cookie platter.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup salted butter (like Tillamook or Costco’s Kirkland brand), softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Peppermint Bark Topping*

  • 8 ounces (2 4-ounce bars) Ghirardelli premium baking semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or for thinner dippable ganache use an extra 1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • 4 tablespoons crushed candy canes
  • Optional: Maldon sea salt flakes (enhances the flavor of chocolate)

 

 


Instructions

Shortbread Cookies

RECIPE PREP: Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or reusable silicone baking mats. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  1. Add softened butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix to incorporate. Gradually add in the flour. Mix just until the dough comes together into a ball around the paddle. (In humid environments, like the coast of Mexico, the dough may be very soft, light and fluffy. If this is the case, add in a bit more flour as needed.)
  3. Scoop out 2-tablespoon-sized portions. Roll them into smooth balls. Arrange the pieces (at least 2-inches apart) on the prepared baking trays. Press down on each ball to form a 1/2-inch thick disk. Transfer the tray of cookie dough to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes, or chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or just until the bottoms are beginning to turn golden blonde and the tops are still pale. Remove from the oven. Let them cool completely before topping with ganache.

KITCHEN TIP: When the baking tray is no longer hot – just slightly warm to the touch, transfer the whole tray of cookies into the freezer or fridge for about 10 minutes to assist with the cooling process.

Peppermint Bark Topping

  1. To make chocolate ganache, add the chopped chocolate and heavy cream to a heat-safe bowl or a Pyrex glass measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate has not fully melted, microwave 15 seconds more.
  2. Depending on the thickness of the ganache, either dip the top of the cookies into the chocolate, or spread chocolate over the surface of the cookies with a spoon. Before the chocolate sets, lightly sprinkle with flaky salt and then garnish the top with crushed candy canes.
  3. Slip the tray of cookies into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes (or the fridge for 20 minutes) – until the ganache is set. 

ENJOY OR STORE FOR LATER: Enjoy these holiday cookies on the day they’re made, or place them inside an airtight container lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Notes

How to coat cookies in white chocolate? Chop up 2 4-ounce white chocolate baking bars. Add them to a heat-safe bowl with 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each session until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Drop a cookie into the melted chocolate and lift with a candy dipping tool. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Transfer to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to solidify the coating. 

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Chill Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Christmas Shortbread Cookies, Peppermint Bark Cookies, Shortbread Christmas Cookies, Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

HOLIDAY shortbread cookies 👉🏻 JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Are you a fan of peppermint bark? Would you like to make these easy peppermint bark cookies? Share your thoughts on this Christmas favorite in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.