Holiday Slice & Bake Shortbread Cookies


It’s hard to resist not making at least one batch of Christmas cookies this time of year. And while I’m not a huge baker, I’m a huge fan of homemade slice-and-bake shortbread cookies – particularly the recipes with only 4 ingredients.

I call these Holiday Shortbread Cookies – Marsha Cookies – because my Mom’s best friend Marsha (my Aunt Marsha) used to make these cookies for my family every Christmas. She is the type of woman who can make anything look good – by just throwing  together 4 ingredients and making them look like a work of art. Surely an inspiration! She makes the logs of shortbread cookie dough into perfectly edged rectangles, slices them and places a half of a red or green candied cherry in the middle. Mine don’t come out exactly like Marsha’s – not real uniform but equally as delicious.

Top the cookies with candied cherries, candied citron or pineapple or a pecan. The Fresh Market has a variety of candied fruits if you want to jazz your cookies up and make a variety!

This recipe couldn’t be more easy and they are a huge crowd pleaser! Whatever shape they turn out to be these cookies are so tasty no one will turn down a second or a third. A friend even mentioned the phrase “shortbread cookie coma” the day after my party. Eat with caution.

Holiday Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 pound butter (gasp!)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup + 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Assembly: Using a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter. Slowly add flour and vanilla. Divide the dough in half and roll into logs inside plastic wrap. At this point you can decide what shape you want your cookies to be. Refrigerate for several hours or over night.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookies into 1/4 inch slices. Add a half candied cherry or a bit of candied citron, pecan or anything else you like. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

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