Cinnamon sugar-coated shortbread goodness
You know it’s going to be a great holiday season when there are heaping piles of shortbread cookies everywhere. Whether they’re made with cranberries and white chocolate, eggnog icing, or have a sweet cinnamon sugar coating, every bite practically melts in your mouth. You can’t go wrong!
These cozy and comforting Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies are sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar coating before being baked in the oven. Indulge in one or five - I won’t judge! They’re just too buttery, sweet, and delicious to pass up.
My favorite way to prepare shortbread cookie dough is to roll it into a log, slice off the rounds, and bake the cookies! It saves your hands from getting messy and makes for easy storing too. Watch this video if you want to become an expert on slicing and baking shortbread!
Cinnamon shortbread ingredients
The secret to the very best shortbread is using fresh, high quality ingredients. The ingredients list is already super short, so there aren’t many places to hide! If you just need cookies right now then go ahead and use whatever you have at home - no judgment here!
No surprise here. Butter is the key ingredient in most, if not all shortbread cookie recipes. A whole cup of butter in the cookie dough will leave you with moist, flaky, and buttery cookies.
When it comes to salted vs. unsalted butter, you always want to use salted butter. Shortbread cookie dough doesn’t have much liquid in it, which means that if you were to use unsalted butter and add salt on its own, the salt wouldn’t dissolve. In the end, your cookies will be way too salty.
Powdered sugar in cookies and not icing? Yep, that’s right! Powdered sugar is light, soft, and not as dense as granulated sugar, therefore giving you softer, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
A little vanilla is always welcome when you’re making homemade cookies. It adds balance and a nice warm flavor. If you really want to go above and beyond in the flavor department, replace the extract with vanilla bean paste instead.
All purpose flour
The last and final ingredient in this 4-ingredient shortbread. I recommend sifting the flour to remove any lumps and help your cookies turn out light and airy.
A little cinnamon sugar coating never hurt anyone! To coat the cookies, mix ground cinnamon and granulated sugar together in a small bowl. The sliced cookies are rolled in the coating before they go in the oven, leaving you with a lightly spiced and slightly sweet cookie.
Brushing a light amount of raw egg on each cookie helps the cinnamon sugar coating stick. It’s completely safe to eat since the egg goes on the cookie before they bake in the oven. If you don’t want to use a raw egg, you can replace it with milk instead.
How to make cinnamon cookies for the holidays
This is an easy slice and bake shortbread recipe that comes together in no time. The best part is you can prepare them days or even months ahead of time!
Step 1: Combine the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl (if you have a stand mixer, use it!).
Step 2: Cream those ingredients together using an electric mixer.
Step 3: Mix in the flour and then roll into a ball of cookie dough.
Step 4: Split the dough into two pieces and roll into logs and chill.
Step 5: Slice the dough into rounds!
Step 6: Brush a little bit of egg wash on the tops of each dough round.
Step 7: Dip the dough (egg wash down) into a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Step 8: Bake until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown!
Do you need to chill the dough?
Yep, shortbread dough needs to be wrapped in plastic or parchment paper and chilled for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days before baking.
Chilling cookie dough gives the warm butter a chance to cool and solidify. When the cookies bake, the butter will slowly melt, helping your cookies to spread less in the oven.
Make ahead tips
Go ahead and prep the cinnamon shortbread dough ahead of time, wrap it well in plastic, and keep it in your fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When it’s time to bake, the chilled dough can be sliced and baked right out of the fridge. The frozen dough should be left to thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for an hour, then sliced and baked.
Storing and freezing shortbread
Did you make too much? No problem!
The leftover shortbread cookies will stay fresh in a tin or cookie jar at room temperature for about 5 days. Alternatively, pop them in a sealed container or bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
They do run the risk of freezer burn, so try not to leave them any longer!
🎉 It's time to cook! 🎉
Alright, friend! It's your turn to make this delish recipe for your next get-together.
When you do, please leave a comment below so we can hear what you think!
Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract cinnamon in a large bowl until it just becomes light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add flour and on low speed, beat until the dough just starts to come together about 3 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and firmly press together to form a log. Divide the dough in half and form each piece of dough into a 6-inch log. Wrap in parchment paper and chill for at least 2 hours, up to three days.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice each log into ⅓-inch slices. You should have about 36 cookies.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bow. Lightly brush the beaten egg on one side of a cookie and gently dip the egg-washed side into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Evenly place on the parchment-lined baking sheets, sugar dipped side facing up. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
- Bake until the bottom edges of the cookies just start to brown, 14-16 minutes. Allow cookies to cool and serve!
- This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Big thanks to our guest photographer!
These gorgeous photos in this post were contributed by our friend Barbara Curry of Butter & Baggage! She shares comfort food with a southern flare. Her Mini Croque Monsieurs are a delish recipe you'll want to make for your next get-together!