Pink Shortbread Cookies

  • Author: Adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
  • Prep Time: 20 min (Chill time +30)
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: variable
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: oven-baked
  • Cuisine: American


A simple but delicious shortbread cookie with a smooth butter icing. Kids and adults alike love these.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour, all-purpose


  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (optional)
  • pink food coloring


  1. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add mixture slowly to the butter mixture, stirring on low speed. Stop beating as soon as the flour mixture is completely incorporated. Over beating will result in toughness.
  3. Form the dough into a slightly flattened ball and chill about 30 minutes. Place chilled dough into plastic zipper storage bag. With bag slightly open to allow air to escape, begin to roll out dough until it is evenly distributed in flat shape throughout bag. Place back into refrigerator until firm–at least 30 minutes–up to 2 days. Can also freeze at this point.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone mats, or grease generously with cooking spray.
  5. Remove cookie dough from fridge and carefully cut three sides of bag with kitchen shears or scissors leaving one side intact. Open up and use cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Because the dough is cold and firm, they should peel off the plastic easily. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Re-roll scraps after replacing plastic over top of new ball and refrigerate a few minutes until firm again. Repeat as needed until all dough is used.
  6. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until light brown around the edges. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Remove and cool completely before icing.


  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and extract. If too thick, add more milk a few drops at a time. If too thin, add more powdered sugar or let sit for awhile. Use food coloring to tint the icing. Ice cookies and allow to sit until icing is dry. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap for 1 month in the freezer.

Keywords: cookies, shortbread cookies, cookie recipes, cut out cookies, iced cookies