Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Cookie Week - Shortbread Cookies

As soon as I smell the dough of shortbread cookies being mixed I know Christmas is just around the corner.  It is THE Christmas cookie for our family so I knew I wanted it to be the first cookie I posted in our Christmas Cookie Week.  

Speaking of Christmas Cookie Week - this year Angie from Echoes of Laughter and I have joined up with six other bloggers to bring you a super-sized Cookie Week.  Can you believe it - a whole week of cookies, not just from my kitchen, but from seven other bloggers as well.  

The shortbread recipe I use is from my father's mother (who you can see in the photo below.) The recipe is a classic - just like my grandmother was.  She always wore a dress even when we went camping.  And although she lived in small towns in northern British Columbia for much of her life she always set a nice table, used serviettes, served dessert, and remembered the finer things of life.  

Lucy and Stanley Jones in 1955 (Maple Ridge, BC).

In 2009 I travelled with my parents to Smithers in northern British Columbia and was shown all the important sites of my father's childhood.  I was especially interested to see the houses they lived in.  The one in the photo below was the house they lived in the longest.  Isn't it the cutest!  The kitchen window is around the left side of the house and looks out across to the mountains that you can see in the second photo below.  I love thinking of my grandmother making her shortbread cookies looking out to the snow-covered mountains.

Since I make these shortbread every year - I  try and change things up.  This year I decorated the shortbread using coloured sugar in my two favourite colours - turquoise and green.  I decided to go with a modern Christmas tree theme with the trees coloured in bold stripes or colour-blocked.  I used a small piece of cardboard to keep each colour in the right section.  Worked like a charm.  I bet my Grandma's cookies didn't look like these!

Here is the shortbread recipe:
1 lb butter (2 cups) at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
5 cups flour
pinch salt

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
2.  Knead until they form a ball
3.  Roll out on a lightly-floured surface to a thickness of between 1/4 and 1/2 inch
4.  Cut or stamp cookies with cookie cutters and place on an ungreased cookie sheet
5.  Bake at 350F for about 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly brown (do not overbake)

In previous years I have also made cranberry-orange shortbread which is a nice variation.

Is shortbread a Christmas classic for your family?


Welcome to Christmas Cookie Week 2013! This year eight bloggers have come together to share a daily recipe for yummy and delicious cookies that we hope will inspire you during this season of Christmas baking! We come from different parts of Canada, with one friend joining us from Alabama, but we all share a joy of baking which makes for love…fresh from the oven!


  1. I love shortbread….it's one of my favorite cookies, and can you believe that I've never tried baking it myself? Now I have no excuse since you've shared your tried and true recipe with us. I love the story, and that is the cutest little cottage *ever*….

    I'm soooooo excited about Christmas Cookie Week! *squee*

    I love the color sprinkles you used on the cookies, too….

    Ricki Jill

  2. I think I love decorating these cookies as much as the eating! Love the colours you have chosen for yours. Very pretty.
    BTW, I lived for a year in Prince George BC and we use to go skiing over near Smithers. Very interesting part of the country.
    Looking forward to each day of this week to see what everyone shares. :)

  3. Oh, I love shortbread...they are a definite sign of the holidays! And I love that this is a family recipe - those are the best!

  4. I love the colour blocking you did! They look amazing! And that shortbread recipe looks delish too! Happy Christmas Cookie Week! Angie xo

  5. I love shortbread; I usually do whipped but these are so much more festive. Love the colours too. Happy Christmas Cookie Week. :)

  6. I am going to try these, my hubby love Shortbread cookies and always asks for them at Christmas time. I'm pinning it!
    Your grandmother was a real lady and she lived in a very beautiful house and the view from it is breathtaking! I lived in Vanderhoof for several years, in northern BC.
    Hugs, Cindy

  7. We call them butter cookies and I love them! I only make them at Christmas - thanks for your recipe!!! I'll give them a try :)

  8. The colour combo on your cookies is so pretty! Love the story about your grandmother too, and the house is so sweet!

  9. Grace,

    I absolutely LOVED reading about your Grandma. She sounds like she was a special lady. I loved that she wore a dress all the time, even while camping. Isn't it funny that that is what stands out to you?

    Yes, I have to agree that house IS the cutest! I love all the details in it. What a truly homey kind of a home. Very special.

    Also, I wanted to mention I like your photo above there. It looks great outside!

    Having fun looking through your cookie collection. Way to go on trying out some new ones like the fancy Dutch cookies.

    Hoping you are well.

  10. My first Christmas cookies are cutouts using the Christmas tree cutter and sprinkled with green sugar! It's tradition!