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Embossed Shortbread Cookies

This holiday season, step up your shortbread cookie game with an embossing rolling pin. These embossed shortbread cookies are easy to make and look amazing on a cookie platter.

Lead in image of the embossed shortbread cookies on a black platter with the embossed rolling pin.

Shortbread cookies are always a favorite to cookie platters for Christmas. These pretty ones have added texture thanks to an embossed rolling pin.

Embossed Cookies

I love the look of the designs on these cookies. Adding the color to the glaze really helps to highlight the design.

Image of the Embossed Shortbread Cookies on a cookie platter with hot chocolate and Christmas ornaments in the background.

How to use an Embossed Rolling Pin

As you can see in the photo, the embossed rolling pin has lots of intricate hollow areas. It’s important that your dough doesn’t get stuck in those small crevices.

  • Generously add flour to your rolling pin.
  • Ensure that your dough is cold and not sticky.
  • Only roll over the dough once! Do not go back and forth.
A photo of the simple shortbread cookies showing off the embossed flower pattern on them.

What is the difference between Shortbread and Sugar Cookies?

If you are used to baking (and eating) cookies, you will know that sugar cookies and shortbread cookies have a different flavor profile, different textures, and different ingredients.

Shortbread cookies do not have eggs.

They are also baked longer and at a lower temperature.

A photo of dipping the cookies into melted chocolate and then decorated with Christmas sprinkles.

What is the difference between Shortbread and Butter Cookies?

Butter Cookies have a lot of butter (fat), but when compared to shortbread cookies, butter cookies have more flour and sugar in the recipe.

Butter Cookies can be pipped out and still hold their shape.

I love the versatility of shortbread cookies. The flavor is mild which allows us to add flavor to the glaze, dip them in chocolate, or top them with buttercream.

Here, I’ve dipped a few in melted chocolate and added some Christmas sprinkles for a fun pop or color.

A horizontal image of the shortbread cookies on a black platter

Sugar Glaze

This sugar glaze is light and thin. Think of a thin doughnut glaze and not a heavy royal icing glaze.

To ensure a thin, even coat you will need to heat the water and sugar together in a frying pan. You can add a drop of extract to the glaze if you want to add in some flavor. Continue to turn the heat on as the mixture cools and hardens over and off when it melts completely again.

A photo of the red and green glaze on these shortbread cookies.

Colored Sugar Glaze

To get this lovely watercolor look, add a drop of gel food coloring to the sugar in the pan. Swirl the color a bit with a toothpick and then dip the cookie down into the glaze.

An overhead image of the embossed cookies on a cookie plater with a few on marble plates.

Here’s a few more ways to enjoy your shortbread:

Here’s a few Shortbread recipes that would be great embossed!

An image linking to the Homemade Chocolate Shortbread cookies recipe.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

An image linking to my Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookie recipe dipped in chocolate.

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

An image linking to sweet Shortbread Cherry Cookies dipped in white chocolate.

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Step up your shortbread cookie game with an embossing rolling pin. These embossed shortbread cookies are easy to make and look amazing on a cookie platter.
Yield: 25-35 cookies

Embossed Shortbread Cookies

Embossed Shortbread Cookies

Step up your shortbread cookies with an embossing rolling pin. These embossed shortbread cookies are easy to make and look amazing on a cookie platter.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 400 grams flour
  • 75 grams powdered sugar
  • 200 grams butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg
  • dash of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients to form a ball.
  3. Divide the ball into two or three smaller balls for easier work.
  4. Roll out with a regular rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  5. Flour the top of the dough and on the embossing rolling pin to prevent sticking.
  6. Place the embossing pin and press and roll slowly and strongly to get a good imprint.
  7. Cut the cookies with a cookie cutter. I used a 2-inch round biscuit cutter.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and place into the freezer for 15 -30 minutes to set the pattern.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. In a small frying pan, heat 1 C powdered sugar with 1/4 C water. Heat on low until melted and then remove from heat. Dip the cookies into the sugar glaze and dry overnight on a cooling rack. For some added color, add a few drops of food coloring and swirl with a toothpick. Dip the cookies in for a marbled effect. Do NOT let the sugar glaze boil. If it crusts over, reheat and stir until all liquid again.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


Monday 16th of January 2023

In the section titled "What is the difference between Shortbread and Sugar Cookies?", it says "Shortbread cookies do not have eggs."

However, these shortbread cookies have 1 egg. What gives?

Sue Castle

Tuesday 6th of December 2022

I am confused, you say that Shortbread cookies do not have any eggs, and yet your shortbread recipe calls for an egg? Are there any true shortbread recipes that will work with the embossed rolling pins? Thank you


Tuesday 11th of October 2022

This is an excellent dough. It rolls out very easily without sticking to the rolling pin at all. It holds the pattern well. The flavor is OK, but it absolutely needs vanilla. In the future, I will add 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the dough. The instructions aren't complete, unless my dough didn't behave properly. I used an electric hand mixer to make the dough, and it remained crumbly. I was easily able to form it into a ball with my hands, but it didn't form a ball on its own.

Karyn Granrud

Monday 5th of December 2022

They were a bit "bland"... Almond extract would be great too. When I dipped them in the sugar, they took on that flavor. Any extract would be a great addition.


Monday 10th of October 2022

In your comparison of shortbread and sugar cookies, you say that shortbread doesn't have eggs, but your recipe does have an egg.


Thursday 22nd of July 2021

In the blog post, you mention that shortbread cookies don't contain eggs but the recipe calls for 1 egg. Is this to help with the embossing?

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