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A hero of the holiday cookie exchange, the shortbread cookie is buttery, crisp, and delicious. But did you know it’s also an amazing blank canvas for flavour? Here, we’ve taken an easy shortbread cookie recipe (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the recipe), then drizzled, dipped, mixed, layered, and whipped it into five new cookies for your holidays.

Marble tabletop with a blue and white tray topped with a plate of whipped shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate, and a short cup of tea, with some holiday ornaments for decoration.

1. Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread dough, with substitutions + sliced almonds + Compliments Baking Chips (your choice of chocolate, white chocolate, or mint flavour chocolate)

Prepare shortbread dough according to recipe directions, substituting granulated sugar with ¾ cup (175 mL) icing sugar and 8 tsp (40 mL) milk. Fill large piping bag fitted with large star tip with batter. Pipe 1½-in. (4 cm) stars on prepared baking sheets about 2 in. (5 cm) apart. Press a sliced almond onto each shortbread peak. Bake at 165°C (325°F) oven until cookies are firm and edges are lightly golden, 18 to 23 min. Let cool on pans. If desired, dip bottoms of cooled cookies into melted baking chips, then return to pans and refrigerate until chocolate is firm.

white marble tabletop with a red serving tray and white plate of roasted chestnut shortbread cookies.

2. Roasted Chestnut Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread dough + peeled roasted chestnuts

In a bowl, using a fork, mash two 100 g pkg peeled roasted chestnuts until finely crumbled; set aside. Prepare shortbread dough according to recipe directions. Stir in half of the chestnuts until combined. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, then roll in remaining chestnuts to coat. Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 in. (5 cm) apart; refrigerate until firm, about 20 min. Bake at 165°C (325°F) until cookies are firm and bottoms are lightly golden, about 20 min.. Let cool on pans.

white marble tabletop with oval red plate of millionaire shortbread bars and holiday decorations on the table around it.

3. Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Shortbread dough + chewy caramels + 35% M.F. Whipping Cream + Compliments Dark Chocolate Baking Chips

Preheat oven and prepare shortbread dough according to recipe directions. Firmly press into buttered and parchment paper–lined 13 x 9-in. (3 L) baking dish, smoothing top. Bake until top is lightly golden, about 40 min. Let shortbread cool completely on pan. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 500 g chewy caramels with 2 tbsp (30 mL) 35% M.F. Whipping Cream until smooth; scrape over shortbread. Refrigerate until caramel is cooled and set, about 1 hr. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, melt ¾ cup (175 mL) Compliments Dark Chocolate Baking Chips with ¼ cup (60 mL) 35% M.F. Whipping Cream until smooth; spread over caramel. Refrigerate for 2 hr.; cut into bars.

White marble tabletop with a blue plate of Allsorts-Candy-Stuffed Orange Shortbread Cookies and a short mug of tea off to the side

4. Allsorts-Stuffed Orange Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread dough + oranges + Compliments Licorice Allsorts Candy

Prepare shortbread dough according to recipe directions; stir in zest of 2 oranges. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls, then flatten. Place 1 Compliments Licorice Allsorts Candy in centre of each, then fold over to cover; form into patty shape. Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 in. (5 cm) apart; refrigerate until firm, about 20 min. Bake at175°C (350°F) until cookies are firm and bottoms are lightly golden, about 20 min. Let cool on pans, then dust with icing sugar before serving.

White marble tabletop with holiday decorations and a red plate of Cherry Chip shortbread squares and two candy canes.

5. Cherry Chip Shortbread Squares

Shortbread dough + Compliments Cherry Flavour Gourmet Candy Canes + Compliments Dark Chocolate Baking Chips

Preheat oven and prepare shortbread dough according to recipe directions. Stir in ¼ cup (60 mL) each finely chopped Compliments Cherry Flavour Gourmet Candy Canes (or Peppermint Flavour Candy Canes) and Compliments Dark Chocolate Baking Chips. Firmly press into a buttered and parchment paper–lined 13 x 9-in. (3 L) baking dish, smoothing top. Sprinkle more candy canes and chocolate over top, if desired. Bake until top is lightly golden, about 40 min. Let cool completely on pan before cutting into squares.

Your base recipe: Classic Shortbread Cookies

Preheat oven to 150˚C (300˚F). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In large bowl, mix together 2 ⅔ cups (650 mL) flour and ⅓ cup (75 mL) sifted cornstarch; set aside. In separate bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together 1½ cups (375 mL) softened butter and ¾ cup (175 mL) granulated sugar. Mix in 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture to make a soft dough. Using rounded tablespoons of dough, roll each into walnut-sized ball. Place on prepared baking sheets about 2 in. (5 cm) apart. Makes about 30 balls. Bake until cookies are firm and bottoms are lightly golden, about 18 min. Let cool on baking sheet. Store in airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Note: If mixing dough for use in one of the above recipes, refer to above recipes’ oven temperatures and baking times, as they differ.